U.S. House of Representatives Approves Medical Marijuana Research Act

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Medical Marijuana Research Act

<![CDATA[Researchers looking to study the medical benefits and risks of cannabis use have long been limited by federal prohibition, but legislation that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives April 4 aims to remove some of these barriers.The House voted 343-75 on Monday to pass House Bill 5657, the Medical Marijuana Research Act, which Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced in October 2021, according to Forbes.The bipartisan legislation, which is co-sponsored by 11 other representatives, would allow researchers to access cannabis from state-legal dispensaries for their studies, the news outlet reported.The bill ultimately aims to make it easier for researchers to apply for approval to study cannabis by ensuring an adequate supply and establishing deadlines for federal agencies to consider applications, according to Forbes.Scientists interested in studying cannabis have long argued that it often takes years before their research is approved by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and that the quality of cannabis provided by the University of Mississippi is inferior to the cannabis products available in state markets.The University of Mississippi had been the only entity federally approved to cultivate cannabis for research purposes until last year, when a handful of additional companies received approval through memorandums of agreement (MOA) from the DEA.RELATED: Federally Approved Cannabis?In 2016, the DEA announced that it was shifting its policies to allow additional entities to grow cannabis for clinical research purposes, but then took no action to approve or deny any of the roughly two dozen applications it received from companies interested in cultivating cannabis for research.After three years of inaction, a federal court ordered the DEA in 2019 to explain why it had not responded to the applications. The order was in response to a lawsuit that Dr. Sue Sisley and the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) filed against the Justice Department and DEA…

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