By Bob SechlerAustin American-Statesman (TNS)
Pediatric neurologist Scott Perry is optimistic he’ll soon be able to answer some questions that have been on the minds of his epilepsy patients and their families.
“I don’t think I go a day without the majority of patients actually asking about it,” Perry said. “If I don’t mention it myself, they’ll say, ‘What’s going on with it? What about it?'”
The “it” is cannabidiol, or CBD, an oil extracted from medical cannabis plants. Unlike conventional marijuana, cannabidiol doesn’t produce a high but has shown promise in treating a variety of ailments, including epileptic seizures.
A form of CBD tailored to treat seizures is on the cusp of becoming available in Texas, but only for a small segment of people suffering from a rare form of epilepsy — and only if directed by a doctor. Two of the three CBD dispensaries granted licenses under the state’s narrow 2015 medical cannabis law, called the Compassionate Use Act, are either in the process of arranging initial deliveries of their products or expect to be ready to do so soon.
Cansortium Texas, located in Schulenburg, has its CBD oil — which it has branded as “Zeltor” — ready to dispense, while Compassionate Cultivation, based in Manchaca, is harvesting its first crop of medical cannabis and expects to have refined products available by early February.
The pending start of CBD sales in Texas comes in the wake of a recent policy change by the Trump administration that could lead to an increase in federal marijuana prosecutions in states that have legalized it, because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
The policy change — prompted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a potential reversal of what has been a hands-off federal stance — is injecting uncertainty into the marijuana-legalization push nationwide. But a number of