How to Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Texas Step by Step

Texas’ Compassionate Use Act, passed into law in June 2015, established the Compassionate Use Program (CUP), which allowed physicians registered through the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) to prescribe medical CBD and low-THC medical cannabis to patients with certain qualifying conditions.

Texas defines low-THC cannabis 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 that contains not more than 1% by weight of THC” (HB 1525, effective Sept. 1, 2021).

Today, the state of Texas limits medical marijuana use to oral products—not smokeable ones. In addition, the state doesn’t issue medical marijuana cards. Rather, it issues medical marijuana prescriptions.

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Step 1: Identify Your Qualifying Condition

Currently, registered physicians may prescribe medical CBD and low-THC cannabis to patients with any qualifying condition from the following list:

  • All forms of epilepsy, including intractable epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • Autism and other spectrum disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Spasticity
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Terminal Cancer
  • All forms of cancer (Effective Sept. 1, 2021)
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
  • Neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Effective Sept. 1, 2021)
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Over 100 other incurable neurodegenerative diseases

Step 2: Meet with A Licensed Physician

In Texas, first-time appointments for qualifying patients seeking medical marijuana certification must be in-person because a drug screen is always ordered for new applicants. Subsequent appointments with the same qualified physician can be conducted via telemedicine.

Following an appointment, physicians enter the patient’s prescription into the CURT online system, which is then used by dispensaries to search for the patient’s information to fill their medical marijuana prescription.

Texas' medical marijuana program differs from other states' programs in several ways. First, patients don't register with the CURT system themselves. Also, patients aren't required to compile any registration paperwork.

Under Texas’s marijuana laws, medical marijuana doctors handle their patients’ CUP registration and submit their applications. Finally, Texans aren't required to pay a registration fee to the state.

Step 3: Purchase Medical Marijuana at A Licensed Dispensary

At every Texas medical marijuana dispensary, each patient, their legal guardian, or their caregiver must provide the patient’s ID (as well as their own, if applicable), the patient’s last name, their date of birth, and the last five digits of their Social Security number.

There are currently three licensed dispensaries operating in Texas. Contact information for these dispensaries are as follows:

There is no age limit for Texas medical marijuana prescriptions. Patients under 18 years old may need a legal guardian to obtain one, though.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some common questions dealing with law enforcement and your Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP) participation:

No. Only licensed cultivators can grow cannabis, and even then it can only be for the production of low-THC cannabis. Patients can only purchase low-THC cannabis products from licensed dispensaries.

No. Texas law prohibits ingesting low-THC cannabis by smoking it.

Texas legislation exempts patients and their legal guardians from criminal culpability related to possession of low-THC cannabis that has been prescribed according to a valid prescription from a licensed dispensary.

Texas law dictates what marijuana products dispensaries are legally authorized to produce and sell.

All controlled substance penalties will remain the same. The only exemptions are for violations involving low-THC cannabis.

No. Low-THC cannabis is the only form available through prescription.

Important Things to Know About CUP Participation and LTC Laws

A patient’s participation in CUP does not, in itself, disqualify the individual from obtaining or maintaining a license to carry (LTC).

Certain medical marijuana programs have been determined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to disqualify an individual from possessing firearms, but the state of Texas does not enforce that statute.

However, the underlying condition that serves as the basis for your participation in the CUP may be disqualifying. If the medical condition potentially affects your ability to exercise sound judgment, the department may refer the matter to the Medical Advisory Board for their review and recommendation.

Should the board find you “incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun,” the department would be able to deny your application and/or revoke your LTC.

Need Help Applying For A Texas CUP Membership?

Would you like to apply to participate in Texas' CUP? The Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help guide you through the process so that you can submit a strong application.

At the Sanctuary, we connect Texas patients with qualifying conditions to licensed physicians who can certify them for medical marijuana treatment. Contact us today to learn more.