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The Legal Marijuana Industry Is Taking Root In Texas

MANCHACA, Texas (CBS11) - Sitting inside an unmarked building in tiny Manchaca, Texas are some of the state's first legal marijuana plants.

Only a few inches a tall, the saplings being grown by Compassionate Cultivation bring hope to families struggling with epilepsy.

medical marijuana grower
medical marijuana grower in Manchaca, Texas (CBS11)

"Makes it real. Super excited," said Katie Graham who was able to see the plants in person.

Graham's 7 year old son, Elliot, has epilepsy causing him three to four seizures a week.

Epilepsy is the one condition state lawmakers have approved to be treated with the low THC cannabis oil it's now licensed two companies to sell.

"Places were it's legal, you hear these miracle stories," said Graham.

She believes a cannabis may have fewer side effects than the medications Elliot is currently prescribed.

"Sometimes, it almost feels as bad as the seizures," she said.

Compassionate Cultivation received its license to dispense the drug October 31, making the second company to qualify.

"We high-fived and we immediately got to business. We planted the seeds that afternoon," said CEO Morris Denton.

His company is the only one of three given preliminary approval by the state earlier this year that is getting its start in Texas.  It proudly boasts its local roots with a picture of Texas Longhorn prominently displayed on its website.

It announced Monday it would be naming its first strain of the plant after State Representative Stephanie Klick.

The lawmaker from North Richland Hills took the lead in creating the state's highly restricted medical marijuana program.

"We wanted unlike Colorado a true medical program with a low risk of abuse," she said.

Rep. Klick says she's not opposed to expanding the list of patients who can access the drug but wants to see evidence of its impact first.

"We don't have any data to show a benefit to those folks," said Rep. Klick.

For the Grahams, though, the long wait is almost over.

Medical marijuana is expected to be available in Texas by the end of the year.


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