Bill Text: TX SB269 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations and testing facilities; authorizing fees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-01-30 - Referred to Health & Human Services [SB269 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB269-Introduced.html
  85R1145 GCB-F
 
  By: Menéndez S.B. No. 269
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation,
  distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for
  medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating
  medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations
  and testing facilities; authorizing fees.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 481.062(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The following persons may possess a controlled
  substance under this chapter without registering with the Federal
  Drug Enforcement Administration:
               (1)  an agent or employee of a manufacturer,
  distributor, analyzer, or dispenser of the controlled substance who
  is registered with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and
  acting in the usual course of business or employment;
               (2)  a common or contract carrier, a warehouseman, or
  an employee of a carrier or warehouseman whose possession of the
  controlled substance is in the usual course of business or
  employment;
               (3)  an ultimate user or a person in possession of the
  controlled substance under a lawful order of a practitioner or in
  lawful possession of the controlled substance if it is listed in
  Schedule V;
               (4)  an officer or employee of this state, another
  state, a political subdivision of this state or another state, or
  the United States who is lawfully engaged in the enforcement of a
  law relating to a controlled substance or drug or to a customs law
  and authorized to possess the controlled substance in the discharge
  of the person's official duties;
               (5)  if the substance is tetrahydrocannabinol or one of
  its derivatives:
                     (A)  a Department of State Health Services
  official, a medical school researcher, or a research program
  participant possessing the substance as authorized under
  Subchapter G; or
                     (B)  a practitioner or an ultimate user possessing
  the substance as a participant in a federally approved therapeutic
  research program that the commissioner has reviewed and found, in
  writing, to contain a medically responsible research protocol; or
               (6)  a person possessing medical cannabis, as defined
  by Section 169.001, Occupations Code, who is authorized to possess
  medical cannabis [dispensing organization licensed] under Chapter
  487 [that possesses low-THC cannabis].
         SECTION 2.  Sections 481.111(e) and (f), Health and Safety
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (e)  Sections 481.120, 481.121, 481.122, and 481.125 do not
  apply to a person who engages in the acquisition, possession,
  production, cultivation, delivery, or disposal of a raw material
  used in or by-product created by the production or cultivation of
  medical [low-THC] cannabis if the person:
               (1)  for an offense involving possession only of
  marihuana or drug paraphernalia, is a cardholder or nonresident
  cardholder authorized under Chapter 487 to possess medical cannabis
  for medical use by a qualifying patient [for whom low-THC cannabis
  is prescribed under Chapter 169, Occupations Code, or the patient's
  legal guardian,] and the person possesses no more than the
  allowable amount of medical [low-THC] cannabis, as determined under
  Section 487.081 [obtained under a valid prescription from a
  dispensing organization]; or
               (2)  is a director, manager, or employee of a
  dispensing organization or cannabis testing facility and the
  person, solely in performing the person's regular duties at the
  organization or facility, acquires, possesses, produces,
  cultivates, dispenses, or disposes of:
                     (A)  in reasonable quantities, any medical
  [low-THC] cannabis or raw materials used in or by-products created
  by the production or cultivation of medical [low-THC] cannabis; or
                     (B)  any drug paraphernalia used in the
  acquisition, possession, production, cultivation, delivery, or
  disposal of medical [low-THC] cannabis.
         (f)  For purposes of Subsection (e):
               (1)  "Cannabis testing facility," "cardholder,"
  "dispensing organization," and "nonresident cardholder" have the
  meanings ["Dispensing organization" has the meaning] assigned by
  Section 487.001.
               (2)  "Medical cannabis," "medical use," and
  "qualifying patient" have the meanings ["Low-THC cannabis" has the
  meaning] assigned by Section 169.001, Occupations Code.
         SECTION 3.  Section 487.001, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
               (1)  "Cannabis testing facility" means an independent
  entity licensed by the department under this chapter to analyze the
  safety and potency of medical cannabis.
               (2)  "Cardholder" means a qualifying patient or a
  registered caregiver who is issued a registry identification card.
               (3)  "Debilitating medical condition," "medical
  cannabis," "medical practitioner," "medical use," and "qualifying
  patient" have the meanings assigned by Section 169.001, Occupations
  Code.
               (4)  "Department" means the Department of Public
  Safety.
               (5) [(2)]  "Director" means the public safety director
  of the department.
               (6) [(3)]  "Dispensing organization" means an
  organization licensed by the department to cultivate, process, and
  dispense medical [low-THC] cannabis to a patient for whom medical
  use [low-THC cannabis] is recommended [prescribed] under Chapter
  169, Occupations Code.
               (7)  "Drug paraphernalia" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 481.002.
               (8)  "Nonresident cardholder" means a person who is not
  a resident of this state and who:
                     (A)  has been diagnosed with a debilitating
  medical condition and issued a currently valid registry
  identification card or the equivalent under the laws of another
  state, district, territory, commonwealth, insular possession of
  the United States, or country recognized by the United States, that
  authorizes medical use by the person in the jurisdiction of
  issuance; or
                     (B)  is the parent, legal guardian, or conservator
  of a person described by Paragraph (A).
               (9)  "Registered caregiver" means a person who:
                     (A)  is at least 21 years of age or a parent, legal
  guardian, or conservator of a qualifying patient;
                     (B)  has significant responsibility for managing
  the medical care of a qualifying patient listed on the
  compassionate-use registry; and
                     (C)  has been issued a registry identification
  card identifying the person as a registered caregiver of a
  qualifying patient listed on the compassionate-use registry.
               (10)  "Registry identification card" means a document
  issued by the department that identifies a person as:
                     (A)  a qualifying patient listed on the
  compassionate-use registry; or
                     (B)  a registered caregiver of a qualifying
  patient listed on the compassionate-use registry.
               (11)  "Written certification" means a document
  produced under Section 169.002, Occupations Code.
               [(4)     "Low-THC cannabis" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 169.001, Occupations Code.]
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 487, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter A-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER A-1. PROTECTIONS RELATED TO MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS
         Sec. 487.021.  PROTECTION FROM LEGAL ACTION. (a) This
  section applies to a person who is:
               (1)  a cardholder;
               (2)  a nonresident cardholder;
               (3)  a dispensing organization;
               (4)  a cannabis testing facility; or
               (5)  a director, manager, or employee of a dispensing
  organization or of a cannabis testing facility who is registered
  with the department under Section 487.053.
         (b)  Notwithstanding any other law, a person described by
  Subsection (a) is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in
  any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including any civil
  penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or
  professional licensing board or bureau, for conduct involving
  medical use that is authorized under this chapter, department rule,
  or Chapter 169, Occupations Code.
         Sec. 487.022.  NO PRESUMPTION OF CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR
  ENDANGERMENT. A person described by Section 487.021(a) may not be
  presumed to have engaged in conduct constituting child abuse,
  neglect, or endangerment solely because the person engaged in
  conduct involving medical use that is authorized under this
  chapter, department rule, or Chapter 169, Occupations Code.
         Sec. 487.023.  NO DENIAL OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.  The fact that a
  person described by Section 487.021(a) engages in conduct
  authorized under this chapter, department rule, or Chapter 169,
  Occupations Code, does not in itself constitute grounds for
  denying, limiting, or restricting conservatorship or possession of
  or access to a child under Title 5, Family Code.
         Sec. 487.024.  NO SEIZURE OR FORFEITURE. Property used in
  the cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of
  medical cannabis for medical use that is authorized under this
  chapter, department rule, or Chapter 169, Occupations Code, is not
  contraband for purposes of Chapter 59, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  and is not subject to seizure or forfeiture under that chapter or
  other law solely for the use of the property in those authorized
  activities.
         Sec. 487.025.  NO PROSECUTION FOR PROVISION OF
  PARAPHERNALIA. A person is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or
  the imposition of any sentence or penalty for the delivery,
  possession with intent to deliver, or manufacture of any item that
  meets the definition of drug paraphernalia, if that item is
  delivered, possessed with intent to deliver, or manufactured for
  the sole purpose of providing that item to a cardholder or
  nonresident cardholder for medical use under this chapter,
  department rule, or Chapter 169, Occupations Code.
         SECTION 5.  Section 487.052, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.052.  RULES. (a)  The director shall adopt any
  rules necessary for the administration and enforcement of this
  chapter.
         (b)  The director shall adopt reasonable [, including] rules
  imposing fees under this chapter in amounts sufficient to cover the
  cost of administering this chapter. Fees collected under a rule
  adopted under this chapter may be used only for the administration
  of this chapter.
         (c)  The director shall adopt rules in accordance with
  Section 487.081 governing the allowable amount of medical cannabis
  a cardholder or nonresident cardholder may possess for medical use
  by a qualifying patient. 
         (d)  The director by rule shall adopt labeling requirements
  for medical cannabis.
         (e)  The director shall adopt rules establishing security
  requirements concerning the cultivation of medical cannabis by a
  cardholder.
         (f)  The director shall adopt reasonable rules governing
  access to medical cannabis by nonresident cardholders.
         SECTION 6.  The heading to Section 487.053, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.053.  LICENSING OF DISPENSING ORGANIZATIONS AND
  CANNABIS TESTING FACILITIES; REGISTRATION OF CERTAIN ASSOCIATED
  INDIVIDUALS.
         SECTION 7.  Section 487.053(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The department shall:
               (1)  issue or renew a license to operate as:
                     (A)  a dispensing organization to each applicant
  who satisfies the requirements established under this chapter for
  licensure as a dispensing organization; and
                     (B)  a cannabis testing facility to each applicant
  who satisfies the requirements established under this chapter for
  licensure as a cannabis testing facility; and
               (2)  register directors, managers, and employees of
  each:
                     (A)  dispensing organization; and
                     (B)  cannabis testing facility.
         SECTION 8.  Section 487.054, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.054.  COMPASSIONATE-USE REGISTRY. (a)  The
  department shall establish and maintain a secure online
  compassionate-use registry that contains:
               (1)  the name of each individual who is issued a
  registry identification card and each nonresident cardholder who
  receives medical cannabis from a dispensing organization;
               (2)  the name of each medical practitioner who
  recommends medical use to a qualifying patient and [physician who
  registers as the prescriber for a patient under Section 169.004,
  Occupations Code,] the name and date of birth of that [the]
  patient[, the dosage prescribed, the means of administration
  ordered, and the total amount of low-THC cannabis required to fill
  the patient's prescription]; and
               (3) [(2)]  a record of each amount of medical [low-THC]
  cannabis dispensed by a dispensing organization to a cardholder or
  nonresident cardholder [patient under a prescription].
         (b)  The department shall ensure the registry:
               (1)  is designed to prevent more than one medical
  practitioner [qualified physician] from registering as the
  recommending medical practitioner [prescriber] for a single
  patient; and
               (2)  is accessible to law enforcement agencies and
  dispensing organizations for the purpose of verifying whether a
  person is authorized under this chapter to receive medical cannabis
  [patient is one for whom low-THC cannabis is prescribed and whether
  the patient's prescriptions have been filled; and
               [(3)     allows a physician qualified to prescribe low-THC
  cannabis under Section 169.002, Occupations Code, to input safety
  and efficacy data derived from the treatment of patients for whom
  low-THC cannabis is prescribed under Chapter 169, Occupations
  Code].
         SECTION 9.  Subchapter B, Chapter 487, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Sections 487.055 and 487.056 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 487.055.  LICENSING AND REGULATION OF CANNABIS TESTING
  FACILITIES. The director shall adopt all rules necessary for:
               (1)  the licensing and regulation of cannabis testing
  facilities and the directors, managers, and employees of those
  facilities;
               (2)  the operation of cannabis testing facilities; and
               (3)  the testing of the safety and potency of medical
  cannabis.
         Sec. 487.056.  APPLICATION FOR REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION
  CARD. (a) The director by rule shall adopt an application for a
  registry identification card:
               (1)  for a qualifying patient; and
               (2)  for a designated caregiver.
         (b)  An applicant for a registry identification card must
  submit to the department:
               (1)  the application adopted under Subsection (a);
               (2)  a written certification that was issued within the
  90 days preceding the date of application and that affirms that
  medical use is recommended for the qualifying patient;
               (3)  the application fee prescribed by department rule;
  and
               (4)  any other forms developed by the director for
  submission with the application.
         (c)  The department shall issue a registry identification to
  an applicant who is a qualifying patient or the registered
  caregiver of a qualifying patient not later than the 25th day after
  the date the application is submitted.
         SECTION 10.  Chapter 487, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter B-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER B-1. ALLOWABLE AMOUNT OF MEDICAL CANNABIS AND ACCESS TO
  MEDICAL CANNABIS
         Sec. 487.081.  ALLOWABLE AMOUNT OF MEDICAL CANNABIS. (a) A
  cardholder or nonresident cardholder may possess for medical use by
  the qualifying patient no more than the allowable amount of medical
  cannabis for that qualifying patient, as provided by this section
  and department rule.
         (b)  The director by rule shall specify the number of
  cannabis plants that may be cultivated or possessed for medical use
  by a qualifying patient, which may not be fewer than six cannabis
  plants.  The amount of medical cannabis, edible products that
  contain medical cannabis, or products infused with medical cannabis
  that are produced from the allowable number of cannabis plants may
  be possessed for medical use by a cardholder or nonresident
  cardholder on the site where those plants are cultivated,
  regardless of whether the amount possessed on that site exceeds the
  quantity otherwise provided as the allowable amount of medical
  cannabis for the qualifying patient by a rule adopted under this
  section.
         (c)  The director by rule shall specify the quantity of
  medical cannabis other than cannabis plants, edible products that
  contain medical cannabis, or products infused with medical
  cannabis, that, except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b) or
  (e), may be possessed by a cardholder or nonresident cardholder for
  medical use by a qualifying patient, which may not be less than 2.5
  ounces.
         (d)  The director by rule shall specify the quantity of
  edible products that contain medical cannabis or products infused
  with medical cannabis that, except as otherwise provided by
  Subsection (b) or (e), may be possessed by a cardholder or
  nonresident cardholder for medical use by a qualifying patient.
         (e)  If a medical practitioner recommends in the qualifying
  patient's written certification a different amount of medical
  cannabis than the amount provided by rule adopted under this
  section, the amount recommended by the written certification is
  the allowable amount of medical cannabis for that qualifying
  patient.
         Sec. 487.082.  ACCESS TO MEDICAL CANNABIS BEFORE REGISTRY
  IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED. An applicant for a registry
  identification card may receive medical cannabis from a dispensing
  organization before the department issues a registry
  identification card on providing:
               (1)  proof that the application was submitted to the
  department and any application fees were paid; and
               (2)  a copy of the applicant's written certification.
         Sec. 487.083.  ACCESS TO MEDICAL CANNABIS BEFORE DECEMBER 1,
  2017. (a)  On or before December 1, 2017, notwithstanding a
  contrary provision of this chapter, a qualifying patient or a
  caregiver with significant responsibility for managing the
  well-being of a qualifying patient may obtain medical cannabis from
  a dispensing organization on providing:
               (1)  for a qualifying patient, a copy of the qualifying
  patient's written certification; or
               (2)  for a caregiver of the qualifying patient:
                     (A)  a copy of the qualifying patient's written
  certification; and
                     (B)  an affidavit stating:
                           (i)  that the caregiver is the qualifying
  patient's parent or guardian; or
                           (ii)  that the caregiver has significant
  responsibility for managing the well-being of the qualifying
  patient and that is signed by the qualifying patient or the
  qualifying patient's parent or guardian, if the qualifying patient
  is a minor.
         (b)  This section expires December 1, 2017.
         SECTION 11.  Section 487.102, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.102.  ELIGIBILITY FOR LICENSE. An applicant for a
  license to operate as a dispensing organization is eligible for the
  license if:
               (1)  as determined by the department, the applicant
  possesses:
                     (A)  the technical and technological ability to
  cultivate and produce medical [low-THC] cannabis;
                     (B)  the ability to secure:
                           (i)  the resources and personnel necessary
  to operate as a dispensing organization; and
                           (ii)  premises reasonably located to allow
  patients listed on the compassionate-use registry access to the
  organization through existing infrastructure;
                     (C)  the ability to maintain accountability for
  the raw materials, the finished product, and any by-products used
  or produced in the cultivation or production of medical [low-THC]
  cannabis to prevent unlawful access to or unlawful diversion or
  possession of those materials, products, or by-products; and
                     (D)  the financial ability to maintain operations
  for not less than two years from the date of application;
               (2)  each director, manager, or employee of the
  applicant is registered under Subchapter D; and
               (3)  the applicant satisfies any additional criteria
  determined by the director to be necessary to safely implement this
  chapter.
         SECTION 12.  Subchapter C, Chapter 487, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Section 487.1025 to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.1025.  ANNUAL LICENSE FEE. The director shall
  charge an annual license fee set initially by the director in an
  amount not to exceed $5,000. The director shall annually adjust for
  inflation the annual license fee.
         SECTION 13.  Section 487.103, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  The director shall set the application fee charged
  under Subsection (a) initially in an amount not to exceed $2,500.
  The director shall annually adjust for inflation the application
  fee.
         SECTION 14.  Section 487.104(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The department shall issue or renew a license to operate
  as a dispensing organization only if:
               (1)  the department determines the applicant meets the
  eligibility requirements described by Section 487.102; and
               (2)  issuance or renewal of the license is necessary to
  ensure reasonable statewide access to, and the availability of,
  medical [low-THC] cannabis for patients registered in the
  compassionate-use registry and for whom medical [low-THC] cannabis
  is recommended [prescribed] under Chapter 169, Occupations Code.
         SECTION 15.  Section 487.107, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.107.  DUTIES RELATING TO DISPENSING MEDICAL
  CANNABIS [PRESCRIPTION]. (a) Before dispensing medical [low-THC]
  cannabis to a person authorized under this chapter to receive
  medical [for whom the low-THC] cannabis [is prescribed under
  Chapter 169, Occupations Code], the dispensing organization must
  verify that [the prescription presented]:
               (1)  the person receiving the medical cannabis is [for]
  a cardholder [person] listed [as a patient] in the
  compassionate-use registry or a nonresident cardholder;
               (2)  the medical cannabis, including any edible
  products that contain medical cannabis and any products infused
  with medical cannabis, has been properly tested and properly
  labeled in accordance with standards established by the department
  [matches the entry in the compassionate-use registry with respect
  to the total amount of low-THC cannabis required to fill the
  prescription]; and
               (3)  the amount of medical cannabis dispensed to the
  person would not cause the person to possess more than the allowable
  amount of medical cannabis for the qualifying patient, as
  determined under Section 487.081 [has not previously been filled by
  a dispensing organization as indicated by an entry in the
  compassionate-use registry].
         (b)  After dispensing medical [low-THC] cannabis to a
  cardholder or nonresident cardholder [patient for whom the low-THC
  cannabis is prescribed under Chapter 169, Occupations Code], the
  dispensing organization shall record in the compassionate-use
  registry the name and address of the individual to whom the medical
  cannabis is dispensed, the form and quantity of medical [low-THC]
  cannabis dispensed, and the date and time of dispensation.
         SECTION 16.  Section 487.108(c), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  After suspending or revoking a license issued under this
  chapter, the director may seize or place under seal all medical
  [low-THC] cannabis and drug paraphernalia owned or possessed by the
  dispensing organization. If the director orders the revocation of
  the license, a disposition may not be made of the seized or sealed
  medical [low-THC] cannabis or drug paraphernalia until the time for
  administrative appeal of the order has elapsed or until all appeals
  have been concluded. When a revocation order becomes final, all
  medical [low-THC] cannabis and drug paraphernalia may be forfeited
  to the state as provided under Subchapter E, Chapter 481.
         SECTION 17.  Section 487.151, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  An individual who is a director, manager, or employee
  of a cannabis testing facility must apply for and obtain a
  registration under this section.
         SECTION 18.  Section 487.201, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 487.201.  COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES MAY NOT PROHIBIT
  MEDICAL [LOW-THC] CANNABIS. A municipality, county, or other
  political subdivision may not enact, adopt, or enforce a rule,
  ordinance, order, resolution, or other regulation that prohibits
  the cultivation, production, dispensing, or possession of medical
  [low-THC] cannabis, as authorized by this chapter.
         SECTION 19.  The heading to Chapter 169, Occupations Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         CHAPTER 169. AUTHORITY TO RECOMMEND MEDICAL [PRESCRIBE
  LOW-THC] CANNABIS TO CERTAIN PATIENTS FOR COMPASSIONATE USE
         SECTION 20.  Sections 169.001, 169.002, and 169.004,
  Occupations Code, are amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 169.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Debilitating medical condition" means:
                     (A)  cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human
  immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome,
  hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease,
  ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer's disease,
  post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, sickle cell anemia, severe
  fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic
  brain injury or post-concussion syndrome, chronic traumatic
  encephalopathy, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, or
  Huntington's disease;
                     (B)  a chronic medical condition that produces, or
  the treatment of a chronic medical condition that produces:
                           (i)  cachexia or wasting syndrome;
                           (ii)  severe pain;
                           (iii)  severe nausea;
                           (iv)  seizures, including those
  characteristic of epilepsy; or
                           (v)  severe and persistent muscle spasms,
  including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
                     (C)  any other medical condition approved as a
  debilitating medical condition by department rule or any symptom
  caused by the treatment of a medical condition that is approved as a
  debilitating medical condition by department rule.
               (2)  "Department" means the Department of Public
  Safety.
               [(2) "Intractable epilepsy" means a seizure disorder in
  which the patient's seizures have been treated by two or more
  appropriately chosen and maximally titrated antiepileptic drugs
  that have failed to control the seizures.]
               (3)  "Medical ["Low-THC] cannabis" means the plant
  Cannabis sativa L., and any part of that plant or any compound,
  manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil
  of that plant [that contains:
                     [(A)     not more than 0.5 percent by weight of
  tetrahydrocannabinols; and
                     [(B)     not less than 10 percent by weight of
  cannabidiol].
               (4)  "Medical practitioner" means:
                     (A)  a licensed physician;
                     (B)  an advanced practice registered nurse who has
  been delegated prescriptive authority in accordance with
  Subchapter B, Chapter 157; or
                     (C)  a physician assistant who has been delegated
  prescriptive authority in accordance with Subchapter B, Chapter
  157.
               (5) [(4)]  "Medical use" means the ingestion of medical
  [by a means of administration other than by smoking of a prescribed
  amount of low-THC] cannabis by a qualifying patient to treat or
  alleviate the patient's debilitating medical condition [person for
  whom low-THC cannabis is prescribed under this chapter].
               (6)  "Qualifying patient" means a person who has been
  diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a medical
  practitioner.
               [(5) "Smoking" means burning or igniting a substance
  and inhaling the smoke.]
         Sec. 169.002.  RECOMMENDATION FOR MEDICAL [PHYSICIAN
  QUALIFIED TO PRESCRIBE LOW-THC] CANNABIS BY MEDICAL PRACTITIONER.
  (a) A medical practitioner may recommend medical cannabis to a
  qualifying patient if the medical practitioner attests through
  written certification that, in the medical practitioner's
  professional opinion:
               (1)  the diagnosis of a debilitating medical condition
  for the qualifying patient is correct;
               (2)  the qualifying patient is likely to receive
  therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of medical
  cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient's debilitating medical
  condition; and
               (3)  the potential benefits to the qualifying patient
  of medical use outweigh the health risks of medical use.
         (b)  The written certification described by Subsection (a)
  must:
               (1)  be dated and signed by the medical practitioner;
               (2)  specify the qualifying patient's debilitating
  medical condition; and
               (3)  affirm that medical use was recommended in the
  course of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship between the
  qualifying patient and the medical practitioner [Only a physician
  qualified as provided by this section may prescribe low-THC
  cannabis in accordance with this chapter.
         [(b)     A physician is qualified to prescribe low-THC cannabis
  to a patient with intractable epilepsy if the physician:
               [(1)  is licensed under this subtitle;
               [(2)     dedicates a significant portion of clinical
  practice to the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy; and
               [(3)  is certified:
                     [(A) by the American Board of Psychiatry and
  Neurology in:
                           [(i)  epilepsy; or
                           [(ii)     neurology or neurology with special
  qualification in child neurology and is otherwise qualified for the
  examination for certification in epilepsy; or
                     [(B)  in neurophysiology by:
                           [(i)     the American Board of Psychiatry and
  Neurology; or
                           [(ii)     the American Board of Clinical
  Neurophysiology].
         Sec. 169.004.  [LOW-THC CANNABIS PRESCRIBER] REGISTRATION
  OF RECOMMENDING MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS. Before a medical
  practitioner [physician qualified to prescribe low-THC cannabis
  under Section 169.002] may recommend medical use [prescribe or
  renew a prescription for low-THC cannabis] for a qualifying patient
  under this chapter, the practitioner [physician] must register as
  the recommending medical practitioner [prescriber] for that
  patient in the compassionate-use registry maintained by the
  department under Section 487.054, Health and Safety Code. The
  medical practitioner's [physician's] registration must indicate:
               (1)  the medical practitioner's [physician's] name; and
               (2)  the qualifying patient's name and date of birth[;
               [(3)  the dosage prescribed to the patient;
               [(4)     the means of administration ordered for the
  patient; and
               [(5)     the total amount of low-THC cannabis required to
  fill the patient's prescription].
         SECTION 21.  Section 551.004, Occupations Code, is amended
  by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  This subtitle does not apply to:
               (1)  a practitioner licensed by the appropriate state
  board who supplies a patient of the practitioner with a drug in a
  manner authorized by state or federal law and who does not operate a
  pharmacy for the retailing of prescription drugs;
               (2)  a member of the faculty of a college of pharmacy
  recognized by the board who is a pharmacist and who performs the
  pharmacist's services only for the benefit of the college;
               (3)  a person who procures prescription drugs for
  lawful research, teaching, or testing and not for resale;
               (4)  a home and community support services agency that
  possesses a dangerous drug as authorized by Section 142.0061,
  142.0062, or 142.0063, Health and Safety Code; or
               (5)  a dispensing organization[, as defined by Section
  487.001, Health and Safety Code,] that cultivates, processes, and
  dispenses medical [low-THC] cannabis, as authorized by Chapter 487,
  Health and Safety Code, to a cardholder or nonresident cardholder
  [patient listed in the compassionate-use registry established
  under that chapter].
         (a-1)  For purposes of Subsection (a)(5), "cardholder,"
  "dispensing organization," and "nonresident cardholder" have the
  meanings assigned by Section 487.001, Health and Safety Code.
         SECTION 22.  Sections 169.003 and 169.005, Occupations Code,
  are repealed.
         SECTION 23.  Not later than October 1, 2017, the public
  safety director of the Department of Public Safety shall adopt
  rules as required to implement, administer, and enforce Chapter
  487, Health and Safety Code, as amended by this Act, including rules
  relating to adopting an application for a registry identification
  card, as required by Section 487.056, Health and Safety Code, as
  added by this Act.
         SECTION 24.  (a) A license to operate as a dispensing
  organization issued under Chapter 487, Health and Safety Code,
  before the effective date of this Act continues to be valid after
  the effective date of this Act until that license expires.
         (b)  The registration of a director, manager, or employee of
  a dispensing organization under Subchapter D, Chapter 487, Health
  and Safety Code, continues to be valid after the effective date of
  this Act until that registration expires.
         (c)  As soon as practicable after the effective date of this
  Act, the Department of Public Safety shall issue compassionate-use
  registry cards to all individuals listed on that registry on the
  effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 25.  This Act takes effect immediately if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate
  effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
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