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Abbott Signals He'll Sign Cannabis Oil Bill

Gov. Greg Abbott is signaling that he will sign into law a bill allowing epilepsy patients to use medicinal oils containing a therapeutic component found in marijuana.

Gov. Greg Abbott at a bill signing at the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin on May 28, 2015.

Gov. Greg Abbott is signaling that he will sign into law a bill allowing epilepsy patients to use medicinal oils containing a therapeutic component found in marijuana.

Abbott issued a news advisory Sunday announcing a Monday bill signing ceremony with the authors of Senate Bill 339 — Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, and Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth.

Under the legislation, the state would be able to regulate and distribute the oils containing CBD, a non-euphoric component of marijuana, to patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.  

Texas is one of 16 states where marijuana is illegal for medicinal and recreational use. In recent years, 13 states have legalized CBD oil for certain medical conditions. Twenty-three other states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing broader medical marijuana use. 

The bill requires the state to regulate the distribution of the medication, directing the Texas Department of Public Safety to license at least three dispensing organizations by Sept. 1, 2017, provided that at least that many applicants have met the state’s requirements. Klick said on the House floor that the dispensaries would function similar to compounding pharmacies. Under the bill, only a neurologist or epileptologist would be able to prescribe CBD oil. 

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