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US House of Representatives Passes a Cannabis Research Bill

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jul 28, 2022   

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The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would help researchers study cannabis.

The bill passed on Tuesday, July 26, by 325 votes to 95.

A previous iteration of the bill passed through the House and Senate back in 2020, but progress stalled over concerns about a clause that would have permitted researchers to study cannabis from dispensaries.

Now, with the clause revoked, the bill is expected to pass through the Senate again and finally land on the president’s desk for his approval.


Studying sativa

The new version of the bill directs the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help register practitioners to conduct cannabis research, and manufacturers to supply cannabis for the research.

The bill also:

  • Requires the DEA to assess whether there is an adequate and uninterrupted supply of cannabis for research purposes.
  • Allows physicians to discuss the potential harms and benefits of cannabis and its derivatives (including CBD) with patients.
  • Mandates the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health to report on the therapeutic potential of cannabis for various health conditions as well as the impact on adolescent brains and on the ability to operate a motor vehicle.

“Research is a foundational element for cannabis policy,” Earl Blumenauer, a congressman and main sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.

“At a time when there are four million registered medical marijuana patients and many more likely to self-medicate, it is crucial that researchers are able to fully study the health benefits of cannabis. For too long, the federal government has stood in the way of science and progress, creating barriers for researchers obtaining resources and approval to study cannabis. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is an important first step to changing that.”

Just as it did in 2020, the bill is expected to pass through the Senate and then, unlike in 2020, make its way to the president’s desk – a feat that no other piece of cannabis legislation has ever achieved.

 

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