A recent Texas Public Radio report is warning that individuals hoping to operate cannabis businesses may get stuck paying significantly more than they originally thought.
The report alleges that Texas might impose a $1.3 million dollar fee to medical cannabis business licenses as part of the Texas Compassionate Use Program. That is up significantly from the $6,000 fee that was originally suggested.
The new program is meant to allow patients with epilepsy access to low-THC cannabis oil that is high in CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis.
The Texas Department of Public Safety justified the increase on their website by saying that the number of licensees has been reduced from 12 to 3, and that a security presence was required at the facilities.
The new fees are estimated at $1.3 million per business and $4,820 per patient at registration, and $975,000 and $2,875 for renewals according to the proposed amendment. Opponents of the increase fear that the increase may significantly affect patient’s access to vital medicine.
“They’ve amended some of the rules, which have been rather alarming for those who are both interested in accessing this medicine and for those who are interested in opening up a cannabis business to provide the medicine for these patients,” Heather Fazio, Executive Director of The Marijuana Policy Project said.
She continued by stating that the higher fees would be pushed onto the consumers seeking legal cannabis oil to alleviate their crippling seizures. Fazio is also worried about another policy change in Texas’ cannabis policy. “Some of the other provisions requires self-incrimination with regards to where cannabis seeds are coming from,” Fazio explains.
The amendment is currently embroiled in a public comment period, which runs through November 28.
Prospective businesses can start applying for cannabis licenses in June 2017 according to the timeline put together by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Compassionate Use Program.
Source: Culture Magazine