The House of Representatives will be voting on a federal cannabis reform measure this month. The bill will allow researchers to study marijuana from businesses in the state that are legal, which promotes research into cannabis.
This comes after the chamber passed a bill to legalize cannabis federally last week, with members now focusing on the Medical Marijuana Research Act. The bill has been amended a few times and needs a two-third majority to be approved. The legislation’s bipartisan nature and its sponsorship from Rep. Andy Harris and Rep. Earl Blumenauer may help the bill get the go-ahead.
The original draft of the proposal cited that researchers were allowed to obtain cannabis from private manufacturers that were federally approved. The committee, however, amended this to expand access to dispensaries in the state that are legal.
The bill states that there’s no limit to the number of entities that can register to be allowed to grow cannabis for research purposes. The bill also requires that the Department of Health and Human Services turn in a report to Congress, five years after the bill has been enacted to propose whether they authorize the rescheduling of cannabis under federal law, in addition to reviewing the results of the federal marijuana studies.
The Drug Enforcement Agency would also be mandated to approve applications for cultivation for research purposes in a year of the bill being enacted. This would help move along valuable marijuana research that had been impeded by the agency.
The version of the bill that will be voted on has also included clauses that state that both the attorney general and the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to develop a process for cannabis distributors and manufacturers to supply researchers with marijuana from dispensaries. Both bodies will have a year after the bill has been approved to create the procedure and are required to begin meeting within 60 days of the bill’s approval.
The Department of Health and Human Services will still be required to give guidance on issues related to the use of cannabis from any authorized cannabis program in the state.
The cannabis research bill had been on the floor schedule and was to be introduced in September. However, it was removed citing a clerical error. In January, an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing that was requested by four GOP legislators had federal drug and health officials, including officials from the DEA, admit that the supply of marijuana that was used for research purposes was inadequate. They added that researchers should be able to access a broad spectrum of cannabis products.
Meanwhile in Canada where cannabis is legal across the country, various firms are thriving. For instance, Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) has excelled at extracting marijuana compounds not just for in-house use but also for other regulated players in the market both in and outside of Canada.
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