With just over 4 days left in the regular session, there are still bills on the move! Here is where we are at:
HB 1535, authored by Rep. Stephanie Klick, would expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program and qualify more patients for medical cannabis. This bill passed out of the House with strong support (134-12) and unanimously out of the Senate.
However, the senate committee adopted a substitute to HB 1535 which makes key changes to the original bill. This substitute changes the proposed THC cap from 5 percent to 1 percent, removes chronic pain as a qualifying condition, and removes the ability for the review board to approve new qualifying conditions. View the committee substitute. View our coalition’s request to correct the amendments.
Since the legislative versions each chamber passed differ. This means the House author can accept the Senate version OR they can go to a Conference Committee. The Conference Committee is where legislators negotiate the final draft before sending it to the governor’s desk. Once/If these bills go to a Conference Committee, it will be our last opportunity to work to correct some of the amendments that were made in the Senate. We will update you if this happens.
THC Concentrate Penalty Reduction
HB 2593 has passed both the House (108-33) and Senate (24-7). This legislation reduces the penalty for 2 ounces of THC concentrates from a felony to a Class B misdemeanor. An amendment was added in the Senate which requires the legislation to be reconciled with the House before heading to the governor’s desk. The amendment further clarifies that hemp is not included in the controlled substance list while also setting the total THC for hemp and its products at 0.3 percent. This may affect the Delta-8 market. Learn more about Delta-8, the amendment, and what comes next.
With differing versions from the chambers, the House author can accept the changes or go to Conference Committee. We will update you.
HB 3948 passed out of the Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture, & Rural Affairs with a vote of 8-0. This bill establishes a hemp research program and cleans up some language in the statute. This bill contains the same amendment which was added to HB 2593 regarding Delta-8. The bill is scheduled for today’s Intent Calendar. (You will be able to watch the livestream here.)
End of Session Party (5/31/21)
Join our coalition members as we celebrate the final day (Sine Die) of the 87th Texas Legislature! We faced an extraordinarily challenging session with the legislature addressing such critical issues as the COVID pandemic, budgetary shortfalls, the winter storms, ERCOT hearings, and more. We still rose to the challenge and created history this session. We will enjoy food, ice cream, drink, music, and each other’s company at The Belmont, which has a lovely outdoor patio and an air-conditioned bar area. (Details)