The CannaBus tour rolled up in Abilene Thursday, bringing to the Mall of Abilene parking lot a mobile dispensary designed to help educate potential users about medical marijuana.
Offered by goodblend, one of three medical cannabis operators licensed in Texas, the "Ride for Your Rights Tour" kicked off in San Angelo Tuesday. Additional stops were planned for Fort Worth, Plano, Nacogdoches, Houston, San Antonio and Killeen.
Bob Marley tunes played in the background as interested parties requested information about the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which allows for use of medical marijuana for more than 150 medical conditions.
Several of those who stopped by the 36-foot bus expressed surprise at both the legality and availability of medical marijuana products in Texas.
That's exactly why the tour is needed, said Chris Morton, director of sales and patient advocacy for goodblend.
The mall stop was scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The goal of the multi-city tour, Morton said, is to help destigmatize medical marijuana in Texas, while energizing patient advocates in the state.
More than four to six million people in Texas qualify for a prescription under TCUP, he said, but only about 35,000 are signed up for the program.
More than 150 medical conditions are currently approved, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, spasticity and autism.
Medical marijuana also has treatment applications for pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, stress, anxiety and sleeplessness.
The TCUP program started in 2015, Morton said, originally for patients with severe epilepsy.
The most recent change to TCUP was 2021’s House Bill 1535, which significantly expanded access by adding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and all forms of cancer to the list of qualifying conditions.
Morton said there is hope that in the upcoming legislative session there will be further bipartisan support to expand the program.
Currently, there are more than 600 board-certified physicians registered in the program, he said, which are listed on goodblend's website tx.goodblend.com. The company also offers virtual clinics to connect to physicians.
This article originally appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: CannaBus stops in Abilene to spread info on medical marijuana