The House is voting to expand marijuana research

What is the context? Legislators on both sides of the corridor agree on the need for further research on health there is a need for the effects of marijuana. The bill is backed by two lawmakers who are at the opposite end of the spectrum about legalizing marijuana: MP Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) The unofficial cannabiscar on Capitol Hill, while MP Andy Harris (R-Md.) Is known for an appropriation. competitor’s work that restricts Washington DC from taxing and regulating the marijuana market.

Marijuana research legislation as well enjoys strong support in the Senate, where legislators on both sides, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) And Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) have proposed legislation on marijuana research. However, this bill has no Senate counterpart.

What does this bill do? Marijuana research is now limited to the fact that the University of Mississippi, the only organization that can legally grow marijuana, is based on a few variations. under federal law for research. Scientists have been complaining for years that the plants produced for research are not like the marijuana used in the real world.

The DEA has never licensed other research cultivators. In 2016, the agency announced that it would authorize other producers to facilitate the research. It received 37 applications and stated in August 2019 that it would proceed with the processing of these applications. But no other producers were given the green light and the lack of action on these applications triggered lawsuits against two applicants.

THE the marijuana research rule proposed earlier this year has been criticized by advocates and researchers, in part because it would make the DEA a centralized distributor for all marijuana researchers. The lawsuit of one of the applicants forced the agency to release the legal basis for the rule: The DEA agreement with Ole Miss violated the international drug treaty all the time, according to the DOJ’s 2018 note. It is not clear when the agency will publish a final rule.

The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to remove restrictions by researching marijuana and creating a new research structure for the drug. The bill instructs the HHS and DOJ to create a program that would allow additional marijuana producers and manufacturers. Federal-licensed researchers could use this marijuana for FDA-approved research. The legislation will also speed up waiting times for marijuana cultivation applications and reduce the cumbersome regulations that researchers face when trying to get approval to study marijuana.

President-elect Joe Biden recently announced the appointment of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary. Becerra has a marijuana-friendly experience and has several universities in her country that already study cannabis, including UCLA, UC Berkley, and UC San Diego. Biden has not announced who he plans to nominate as Attorney General, but that person would have a hand in registering additional producers and developing additional processes to expand research under the bill.

What is the next step? The Senate is unlikely to put the bill to the vote in the last days of Congress, but its adoption will mark a nomination for the next session.