Members of the Texas House of Representatives voted to advance multiple pieces of legislation related to expanding access to low-THC medical cannabis and reducing marijuana possession penalties.
The first bill (House Bill 2593) received approval from House lawmakers Wednesday. The measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to two ounces of THC concentrates from a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine, to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,000.
Separately, House Bill 1535 was approved by House members on Thursday, which would significantly expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP), the state’s low-THC medical cannabis access law. The measure would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients with cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as raise the cap on THC from 0.5 to five percent.
Both measures now head to the Senate for further consideration.
House lawmakers are also expected to debate and vote on a third piece of legislation this week, House Bill 441. This measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a maximum $2,000 fine, to a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine only and no possibility of jail time. HB 441 would also establish a process for expunging past records.
If approved by House lawmakers on its second reading and again on its third reading, HB 441 will move on to the Senate for further consideration.