Amid several pressing legislative deadlines, some lawmakers are concerned that a bill to expand the medicinal use of marijuana won’t ever get its day on the House floor.
House Bill 2107 would expand the “Compassionate Use Act” — a measure that was signed into law in 2015 — and allow the use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions such as terminal cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.
But despite bipartisan support in the lower chamber — the bill has 77 representatives signed on as either authors, co-authors or joint authors — it’s unlikely the measure will ever reach the House floor.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said the bill “has the potential to provide vital treatment for children with severe medical conditions” but it hasn’t been referred to the Calendars Committee — where Howard is vice chair — after being approved by the Public Health Committee. “This makes it very difficult to meet Thursday’s deadline,” Howard said.
Tuesday is the deadline for bills to get set on the House calendar, and Thursday is the last day for the House to do second readings of bills.
In order for the bill to get a floor debate, it would likely have to be set for Tuesday or Wednesday’s calendar, said state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, one of its authors.
“We’ve known this whole time with the late hearing and the late vote out of committee that this would be an uphill battle. But we’re still pushing on,” Isaac said.
Under HB 2107, a specialist focused on neurological disorders could administer low dose THC and high-CBD — an oil derivative of marijuana — under the patient’s tongue. Patients would only be allowed to use the treatment if two other medications have failed.