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Senate Passes Marijuana Research Bill One Week After House Approves Similar Legislation

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The Senate on Tuesday night approved a bipartisan bill meant to promote studies into the effects of marijuana. The move comes one week after the House passed separate cannabis research legislation. The Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act, which was filed last year, advanced by unanimous consent after being slightly amended on the floor. Its main function would be to streamline the application process for researchers who want to study the plant and to encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop cannabis-derived medicines. It would also clarify that physicians are allowed to discuss the risks and benefits of marijuana with patients and require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a report on those potential health benefits, as well one on barriers to cannabis research and how to overcome those obstacles. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are the lead sponsors of the bill. In June, the trio also sought to include the proposal in the annual renewal of the National Defense Authorization Act, but that didn’t happen. While time is running short before end of the session in January, the fact that the House recently approved a similar bill raises the chances that some form of cannabis research legislation could cross the finish line sooner rather than later. One possibility would be for the House to immediately move to pass the Senate bill, which would send it to President Trump’s desk. That said, if House lawmakers insist on something closer to the bill they already advanced last week, the resulting negotiations could mean that lawmakers might not reach an agreement on a unified version until some time in 2021. A major difference in the respective bills is that the House-passed measure contains provisions that would allow scientists to…

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Source : Senate Passes Marijuana Research Bill One Week After House Approves Similar Legislation

reposted by Cannabis News World

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