Texas Cannabis Industry Association (TCIA) Challenges Governor Abbott
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 24, 2017 : On August 15th, the Texas Cannabis Industry Association (TCIA) submitted a formal complaint to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and to Governor Greg Abbott's office regarding licensing for the Compassionate Use Program (CUP), which regulates low-THC cannabis medicine for the state.The TCIA provided substantive, objective evidence that walks thru DPS irregularities, documents direct interference by Governor Abbott, and urges the licensing of 9 additional businesses.
The entire TCIA Board of Directors, along with ten (10) of the license applicants (and counting) have signed on to the complaint. It includes a timeline of events that led to the conclusion Governor Abbott exceeded his authority and acted in bad-faith behind the scenes. Neither the DPS or the Governor's office have responded to the complaint.
Publicly however, on August 18th Governor Abbott stated his opposition helping Texas families who need cannabis-based medicine for their children. He is in effect telling these families to leave the state to obtain medicine for their children that is internationally-proven and available without prescription in the majority of the US.
The Governor's statements are the continuation of a conscious ongoing effort to severely undermine the legislative mandate from a veto-proof super-majority of the House and Senate who passed the Compassionate Use Act in 2015. They are also a rebuke of not only the official state GOP platform but also the 77 House members (forming a majority) who officially supported a more robust medical cannabis program (HB 2107) in the 2017 session.
By the state's own non-partisan evaluation, a minimum of twelve licenses (9 additional from current 3 the Governor has imposed) are needed to make the CUP program viable. There are forty (40) additional License Applicants who are ready to complete licensing and begin operations. But they are being held in limbo indefinitely. The DPS officially states that they have not denied any licenses, while also providing in writing that none of their actions are subject to review. This effectively blocks any ability for an applicant to appeal or challenge the process.