A revised version of the bill that would substantially expand scientific research on marijuana was introduced in Congress on Thursday, according to Politico.
The bipartisan measure from Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andy Harris (R-MD) is almost identical to the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act, a measure introduced in March by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
The new “Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act” builds on a separate cannabis research bill, also led by the bipartisan House duo, which cleared the chamber in April. However, the revised legislation doesn’t include a provision that would have allowed scientists to study products from state-legal dispensaries.
What’s In It?
The revised proposal includes provisions that would ease the process by which researchers apply for approval to study cannabis.
Under the bill, the U.S. attorney general will be obligated to either approve the application from a cannabis research applicant or request additional information.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be expected to develop cannabis-derived medicines, while the Drug Enforcement Administration would be directed to give the green light to manufacturers of marijuana-derived, FDA-approved drugs.
Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be required to investigate the health benefits as well as risks of cannabis.
The following changes to the version initially passed by the Senate include:
- Researchers are not required to notify or receive DEA’s review if they decide to change study protocols, under the condition that they already have a Schedule I registration.
- The U.S. Department of Justice would have to work together with HHS on an annual review of the supply of marijuana needed for the purposes of research.
- The revised bill doesn’t include a provision that deals with the importation of CBD for research purposes.
House members are expected to vote on the revised measure, which could end up on President Joe Biden’s desk as a standalone congressional marijuana reform legislation. Action from the Senate should follow, according to Marijuana Moment.
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