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US Senate Passes Medical Cannabis Research Bill

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Nov 23, 2022   

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The US Senate has passed a bill that would permit more medical cannabis research.

The bill, the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, was passed by the US House of Representatives in July. It then went to the Senate, which passed it on Wednesday, November 16.

The act will now head to the president’s desk for his approval – a first for a cannabis-specific piece of legislation.

The bill moves on

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.

“There is substantial evidence that marijuana-derived medications can and are providing major health benefits,” Dianne Feinstein, one of three senators who introduced the bill into the Senate, said in a statement.

“Our bill will make it easier to study how these medications can treat various conditions, resulting in more patients being able to easily access safe medications.”

A tweet from Senator Chuck Schumer.

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. With that clause revoked, the current bill is expected to be soon signed by President Biden.

 

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