Biden Signs Marijuana Research Bill Into Law, Historic Moment For Federal Cannabis Reform

President Joe Biden has officially signed a marijuana research bill into law, making history by enacting the first piece of standalone federal cannabis reform legislation in U.S. history, reported Marijuana Moment.

Passage of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act is seen by many as a shift in attitudes toward federal policy on cannabis.

The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify policies that inhibit cannabis research and to recommend how to overcome those barriers. It also paves the way for research institutions to grow their own cannabis or import cannabis for medical research purposes, though it does not allow scientists to purchase cannabis from state-run dispensaries.

“For far too long, Congress has stood in the way of science and progress, creating barriers for researchers attempting to study cannabis and its benefits,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who introduced the legislation. “It is essential that we are able to fully study the impacts of cannabis use,” given that more than 155 million people live in areas where local or state governments have legalized adult use of marijuana, he added.

The law gives the US attorney general a 60-day deadline to approve cannabis research applications or request additional information from applicants.

Friday's signing comes just weeks after Biden requested that the Health and Human Services, under Xavier Becerra, review the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug as well as undertake a scientific review of the plant. That move followed Biden’s pardon of federal cannabis prisoners


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