As the second largest state in the union, Texas has the distinction of being the only big state without a broad medical marijuana program. A new initiative launched this year involves touring the Lone Star State and educating Texans about the benefits of legal medical marijuana in Texas.
The star of the “Ride for Your Rights Tour” is the CannaBus, a 36-foot bus funded and operated by goodblend, an Austin-based cannabis company. The bus features a private consultation room, medical marijuana products on display, and an outdoor education exhibit.
“The medical cannabis program will never change unless Texans stand up and make it change,” Reece Fulgham, CEO of goodblend’s parent company Parallel, told Fox 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth. He said the tour is “designed to educate and galvanize support for expanding access to Texans in need. We hope the support rallied will convince Texas policymakers that there’s strong public demand for real, lasting change.”
The tour comes on the heels of a recent survey that found a majority of state residents – including a slight majority of Republicans – favor legal medical marijuana in Texas, as well as legal recreational marijuana. In the summer of 2022, state Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller came out in favor of expanding the Texas medical marijuana program.
The Current Law in Texas
While marijuana legalization has gained in popularity across the South, Texas remains one of a handful of states that makes only CBD products with low levels of THC (less than 1 percent) available for use in its medical marijuana program. Others include Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.
State leaders recently expanded the conditions eligible for treatment under the state’s medical cannabis program. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, epilepsy, autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and a seizure disorder.
The restricted nature of the program drove Miller to come out in favor of expanding the program. He said elected politicians currently are “picking winners and losers” for who can get medical marijuana treatment, without letting people decide for themselves.
The CannaBus Tour Hopes to Change Minds
The focus of the CannaBus tour is to educate more Texans about the state of the medical marijuana program, as well as the health benefits of cannabis. Many studies have found cannabis is effective in treating people for a variety of issues, including anxiety, pain management, sleep issues, and appetite loss. People who use cannabis report having better sex lives, as well, especially women.
Goodblend holds one of only three medical marijuana licenses in the state. The company launched the CannaBus tour ahead of the Nov. 8 election to rally support for expanding legal medical marijuana in Texas. “We want to meet with cannabis advocates, newbies, skeptics, and legislators. We want to listen, educate, and hopefully change minds about the power of this plant,” the company wrote on its Instagram page.
The tour starts Oct. 4 in San Angelo and continues throughout October. Cities on the tour route after San Angelo include Abilene, Fort Worth, Dallas, Nacogdoches, Houston, San Antonio and Killeen.