House of Representatives Passes Bill to Expand Cannabis Research

House of Representatives Passes Bill to Expand Cannabis Research
High Times

The House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill that would broaden access to medical cannabis research, the second time in a week that the chamber approved legislation aimed at federal cannabis policy.  Known as the Medical Marijuana Research Act, the bill easily passed the House on a bipartisan vote, 343-75.  Advocates like the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Congressman Ed Blumenauer, said it would avail crucial opportunities to U.S.-based researchers who have often been hamstrung by the federal government’s prohibition on cannabis.  Ahead of the vote on Monday, Blumenauer said in a tweet that the bill would establish a framework, without which “research is outsourced to other countries-a missed opportunity for the industry, and millions of Americans who consume cannabis products.” The bill, first introduced in the House in October of last year, “establishes a new, separate registration process to facilitate medical marijuana research,” according to an official summary of the measure.  More specifically, it would amend the Controlled Substances Act, the federal statute that has kept cannabis illegal in the United States, despite the dozens of state and local governments that have ended their own prohibition on pot in recent years.  The bill would direct the “Drug Enforcement Administration to register (1) practitioners to conduct medical marijuana research, and (2) manufacturers and distributors to supply marijuana for such research,” and require the Department of Health and Human Services to “produce marijuana through the National Institute on Drug Abuse Drug Supply Program and implement a specialized process for supplying marijuana products available through state-authorized marijuana programs to researchers until manufacturers and distributors can provide a sufficient supply of marijuana for medical research.” As evidenced by the final vote on the House floor on Monday, the bill enjoyed widespread bipartisan support, racking up nearly a dozen Democratic and Republican co-sponsors.  One such…

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