Last week, a group of federal legislators introduced the Medical Marijuana Research Act, which will eliminate barriers to carrying out research on cannabis. It will include permitting researchers to access marijuana from state-legal dispensaries. The measure was filed by Rep. Andy Harris, a prohibitionist, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a pro-legalization lawmaker. The bill will streamline the process for scientists to apply and gain approval to conduct research on marijuana.
In a recent interview, Blumenauer stated that federal legislations were still constraining researchers’ ability to study the various health benefits provided by marijuana, despite the fact that a majority of individuals in America are living in a state that has legalized some form of marijuana.
In late 2020, the House passed a similar version of the marijuana science measure. The Medical Marijuana Research Act, which was filed with support from half a dozen other cosponsors, will also make it easier for researchers to alter their research protocols without seeking federal approval. It would also mandate that the DEA license more cultivators and remove the limit on the number of organizations that can register to grow cannabis for research purposes.
In addition, it would also require that the Department of Health and Human Services present a report that offers an overview of the results of federal marijuana studies to Congress. Furthermore, it would remove additional layers of protocol review, minimize the number of costly security requirements and decrease approval wait times.
In his Congressional Record remarks, Blumenauer stated that the marijuana laws in the United States were broken, including the laws which govern research on marijuana. He explained that since marijuana was still classified as a Schedule I substance, scientists have to comply with strenuous requirements and jump through hoops just to conduct basic research on cannabis’ medical potential.
A Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act refers to drugs that aren’t approved for medical use because they have a high potential for abuse. Blumenauer asserted that expanded research would ensure that Americans had adequate access to transformative treatments and medicines. For about 50 years now, scientists have only been able to conduct research on cannabis grown at the sole federally approved facility located at the University of Mississippi.
In related news, the DEA proposed a significant increase in the amount of cannabis and psychedelics such as mescaline, MDMA, LSD and psilocybin that it wants to be produced in the country for research purposes in 2022. This is after it announced in May that it would soon begin licensing new marijuana growers.
It would be interesting to see how the era of scientists legally using dispensary-sourced cannabis products will pan out when those researchers make use of state-of-the-art dose-measuring devices such as those manufactured by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH).
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