Cannabis Research Turns Up In Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Would Allow Scientists To Use Marijuana From Dispensaries

Buried deep in the folds of the much-anticipated and discussed ad nauseam 2,702 pages of the $1-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is a paragraph that refers to “establishing a clearinghouse to collect and distribute samples and strains of marijuana for scientific research that includes marijuana and products containing marijuana lawfully available to patients or consumers in a State on a retail basis.”

Which means ...?

This means that if you work as a cannabis researcher in a legal marijuana state or even a non-legal neighboring state, you will soon no longer have to rely on subpar weed from the University of Mississippi as your only source of research marijuana and you will no longer have to apply to the DEA for approval to obtain research THC oil.

And perhaps best of all, you will no longer have to store those substances, at the end of each day, in a 300-pound safe that you were required (by the DEA) to nail to the floor of your science laboratory.

One such research team at Portland State University, in the legal-since-2015 state of Oregon, was obliged to do just that. 

Dr. Robert Strongin, professor of organic chemistry at PSU, said he and his team of Ph.D. candidates, whose research included vaporization and e-cigarettes, were “restricted all these years to working with tiny analytical samples of THC from standard chemical vendors approved to sell by the DEA. It was not ideal at all.”

No More Security Measures For A Pinch Of THC Oil

Strongin called the new arrangement laid out in the infrastructure bill promising news and a step towards better enabling researchers to study cannabis.

“The science has been way behind considering the prevalence, especially concerning the newer products available to consumers,” Strongin told Benzinga.

“The new provisions could help hasten progress towards understanding the short and long-term health effects of manufactured products, as well as the associated newer routes of administration. Hopefully, this or future provisions will allow for research beyond studies of impaired driving.”

Marijuana-Impaired Driving — What Is That Exactly?

The infrastructure bill requires measures that will examine “federal statutory and regulatory barriers” to studies on marijuana-impaired driving, a topic that also needs further research in view of the fact that reactions to cannabis consumption can vary significantly from person to person. According to a study undertaken with the support of the National Institute of Justice, the amount of THC in a person’s system is not an accurate predictor of impairment.

What's Next

If the $1-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill survives the floor debate this week, the amended legislation will go back to the House for consideration before heading to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Photo: Science in HD on Unsplash.

Posted In: Cannabis ScienceDEADr. Robert Strongininfrastructure billMarijuana-Impaired DrivingOrganic ChemistryPortland OregonPortland State UniversityPresident Joe BidenTHCCannabisGovernmentNewsEducationPoliticsFDALegalTop StoriesMarketsInterviewGeneral

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