Medicinal cannabis in technology

On June 14, 2019, the Texas Governor signed House Bill 3703 into enactment. The house bill indicates “Low-THC cannabis, known as 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 which contains not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol may be prescribed by the medical society for the treatment of chronic diseases.” The house bill also indicates that the prescription source must comply with the “American Board of Medical Specialties or the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.”

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Though this breakthrough in Texas law is a long-awaited release for the medical society that promotes it; it purposes a different view in the technology sector which promotes the 10 to 15 panel drug screen for employment within high risk areas which require machine handling, development, technical writing, etc.

House Bill 3703 does discuss the criminal implications of unauthorized use of medical cannabis, indicating that both the physician and patient must be a part of a secure online “compassionate-use registry;” which technically should not be readily accessible to employers for random employment drug screening. The secure online “compassionate-use registry” seems to be an excellent opportunity for developers interested in developing for the medical cannabis market; however, the factors of drug screening in the area of employment still seems to be of preferential concern.

Urine drug testing for an inactive THC metabolite is common in both federally regulated and non-regulated drug testing. United States Congress passed the Drugfree Workplace Act in 1988. In 2010, regulated testing began to include the heroin metabolite 6-MAM, and the substituted amphetamines MDMA, MDA, and MDEA; the drug screen also includes tetrahydrocannabinol carboxyclic acid (THCA).

House Bill 3703 indicates that “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 low-THC cannabis” other than authorized by enactment. Therefore, the house bill does not support the release of medicinal cannabis outside its liquid form by unauthorized physicians. However, it does not indicate designated areas of usage for the patient under low-THC cannabis treatment.

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