For the first time in state history, a crop of legal cannabis plants is being grown in the Austin metro area, after a Texas-based dispensary received its license to grow, process and sell the plant.
A New Era
Compassionate Cultivation, an Austin-based company is one of just three licensed growers of medical marijuana in Texas.
The dispensary was approved for a grow license back in May but finally received the official documentation on Tuesday from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The dispensary began the process of growing on Tuesday in their 7,200-square-foot premises, planting hundreds of cannabis seeds that have already begun to germinate.
Compassionate Cultivation CEO Morris Denton says his company—which is working hand-in-hand with operations partner MJardin, a marijuana consultant company that runs 30 medical cannabis cultivation facilities throughout 13 states—will make a concerted effort to make a consistent, high-grade product while maintaining a clean growing environment.
Although the process of growing the cannabis and converting it into CBD oil typically takes around three months, Denton believes his state-of-the-art grow facility could have usable cannabis oil ready for patients as early as December.
“The sooner we plant the seeds, the quicker we can get this medicine to the people who need it,” Denton said.
Medical Marijuana in Texas
While this is certainly a win for proponents of medicinal cannabis in Texas, marijuana laws remain stringent in the state. The Compassionate Use Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott back in 2015, allows only patients suffering from rare forms of epilepsy to utilize CBD oil for treatment.
Patients will still not be able to smoke cannabis but will receive CBD-infused products such as tablets, tinctures or skin patches. CBD is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, so patients will not feel any sort of high upon use.
Although this medication is only available for epilepsy at the moment, Denton hopes it will soon evolve into further forms of treatment in the future.
“It’s our hope that if we’re able to deliver on the promise of this medicine, and we’re also able to create science that allows to prove out this medicine’s impact on other conditions, that the state will take notice,” Denton said.
Final Hit: First Texas Cannabis Crop Set To Be Planted In Austin
Despite some of its restrictions, parents remain thrilled that their children can finally utilize a treatment with proven results for epilepsy.
“It’s another tool in our toolkit of possible things that can help our kids,” said Debbie Tolany, whose son, Miles suffers from epileptic seizures.
Denton, who says he has a family history of epilepsy, is just happy to be making a difference.
“When you get an opportunity to deliver medicine that can change people’s lives, and you can be on the forefront of a transformation within the state of Texas, how many times do you get the opportunity to do that?” he said. “We want to be seen by the medical community and by the patients they serve as the best provider of this medicine in Texas.”