The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced last month that it would accept new applications for low-THC medical cannabis dispensary licenses from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1 as part of a broad expansion of the medical cannabis market that was signed into law earlier this year.
Now, just over a week into the licensing process, the state has abruptly halted it.
“The Department's Compassionate Use Program is not accepting applications at this time,” the DPS website reads.
The DPS has not explained its decision to abruptly halt the licensing process, as reported by the Texas Tribune.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law in June that expanded the list of qualifying conditions in Texas’ medical cannabis program to include medical seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, autism and ALS. Previously, medical cannabis (only available with up to 0.5-percent THC) was only available to intractable epilepsy patients in the state.
Texas issued only three dispensary licenses in 2017 to Surterra Texas, Cansortium Texas and Compassionate Cultivation. It was unclear how many new licenses would be issued when the DPS announced plans to accept new applications.
“The department will continue to assess dispensing capacity requirements, along with the need for any additional licenses, as we work through recent legislative changes to the program,” an agency spokesperson told the Texas Tribune.
It is not clear whether the DPS’s suspension of the licensing process is permanent or a temporary delay, according to the news outlet.