News broke Monday that Texas' first medical marijuana dispensary will open on Feb. 8, near — where else — Austin.
Compassionate Cultivation will be the first of the three licensed dispensaries to open in the state, but will be followed, in theory, by the other two companies that received licenses last year under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which was passed in 2015.
But where will the prescriptions come from? As large a state as Texas is, only 15 doctors are legally allowed to prescribe the medical marijuana oil used to treat intractable epilepsy. Under the Compassionate Use Act, the debilitating condition is the only one for which medical marijuana oil can be prescribed.
One of the two prescribing doctors in North Texas is M. Scott Perry, the director of neurology at Cook Children's Medical Center. He joined Cook in 2009 and is actively involved in studying how effective and how safe cannabidiol oil (CBD) is for treating patients suffering from various ailments. CBD oil is derived from marijuana plants that have been cross-bred to have extremely low levels of the plant's psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, according to the law's requirements.
Bishnu Sapkota, a board certified neurologist with Lone Star Medical Group in Weatherford, is North Texas' other . He is also affiliated with Weatherford Regional Medical Center, according to his profile on WebMD.
Clearly, Texas is not the next Colorado — not by a long shot. Perry and Sapkota are North Texas' only CBD prescribers at the moment, but the list is growing. According to a December Houston Chronicle story, there were only seven registered Compassionate Use doctors in Texas right before the New Year.