Medical marijuana is now legally growing right here in Texas.
News 4 has also learned some of that medicine will be delivered straight to patients’ homes by the end of the year.
Halfway between San Antonio and Houston — on a 10-acre parcel of land in the town of Schulenburg — about a dozen people are hard at work growing medical cannabis.
“The plants look amazing,” says Jose Hidalgo, CEO of Florida-based Knox Medical. “They look healthy and vibrant. And they are going to be ready to be harvested sometime in early December.”
The company isn’t offering tours of the Schulenburg facility yet, but Hidalgo wants to emphasize it’s nowhere near any schools, homes, or parks.
“It’s really an honor for us to be the first company that was licensed,” he said during a recent interview with News 4. “The first company that began growing, the first company that’s going to deliver medicine and begin shaping and helping the lives of thousands of Texans.”
Using cannabis for medical purposes is legal in 29 states, but not in Texas.
Two years ago, though, state lawmakers did legalize the use of cannabidiol (or CBD oil), a low THC-level non-psychoactive component of cannabis. And even then, it can only be used by the 150-thousand or so Texans with intractable epilepsy.
“These are treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy that have not responded to traditional pharmaceutical products,” State Rep. Stephanie Klick of Fort Worth told us in a phone interview. “When you have someone that goes from having close to 100 seizures a day — and if they respond to this treatment, have them dropped in half — that’s a significant improvement in their day to day life.”
A former nurse, Rep. Klick wrote the bill known as the Texas Compassionate Use Act.
“I’m really excited,” said Rep. Klick. “These families with really sick children now have some hope for possible healing.”
Hidalgo says patients across Texas will have to get recommendations from two doctors for a prescription and then register with the Department of Public Safety.
Also, for now at least, the CBD oil will only be sold in the form of drops.
Hidalgo says they’re on schedule for it to be ready by late December.
“It will be a really nice end of the year gift for those families that are waiting for this medicine,” said Hidalgo.