A few years after the approval of the legal medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil in Texas, the Department of Public Safety wants to raise business fees of selling it. CBD oil is a non-psychoactive form of cannabis made from hemp and is legal in the state only for the medical treatment of people diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.
DPS wants to raise the fee from $6,000 to $1.3 million in the first year of sales and $975,000 every year after. The department says fees would go to cover troopers to be placed at each facility that sells the oil and start a registry of businesses.
Rep. Stephanie Klick, a Republican from Fort Worth, co-authored the Compassionate Use Act which legalized the oil’s medical use. She says the fees are an extraordinary hike.
“We did not envision in our legislation that we would have DPS agents sitting there providing security,” Klick says. “There’s no other business in the state of Texas in which DPS provides what would essentially be private security.”
She says she hopes DPS is not trying to make it expensive for businesses to sell the oil so that the concept will fail.
“We’ve had great conversations up until this point,” Klick says. “I think they understand that these are people that are very very sick – that there are children with some of these epileptic syndromes that are dying due to their seizures because they’re poorly controlled.”
She doesn’t support legalization of recreational marijuana use within the state, Klick says, but she does want to continue looking at legalization of cannabis use for medical treatment.
“We have some data to support what we did with epilepsy and I think as far as expansion to other medical conditions we need to follow the scientific data,” she says.
The Compassionate Use Act was a little personal for Klick, she says.
“I worked with the medical professionals that treat children with these syndromes and they felt like this was a way that we could do this with a low-risk for abuse that provides a product another tool in the toolbox for doctors to treat these difficult epileptic conditions,” Klick says. “It breaks my heart that we have children that are dying of these conditions.”
Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.