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420 with CNW — Senate Approves Cannabis Research Bill

Cannabis has been having a great year compared to other industries. As one of the few industries considered essential during the coronavirus pandemic, cannabis has shown to be surprisingly recession-proof, bringing in millions of dollars in much-needed tax revenue. In addition, voters in five states approved some form of cannabis reform legislation on the November ballot, and shortly after that, the House of Representatives passed a historic cannabis legalization bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge marijuana-related offenses.

Just a week after the House approved the marijuana reform policy, the Senate approved a bipartisan bill designed to promote more research into the effects of cannabis. Filed last year, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act would provide a more streamlined application process for researchers who would like to study cannabis as well as encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop marijuana-based medicines. After a slight amendment on the floor, the Senate advanced the bill by unanimous consent.

The lead sponsors of the cannabis research bill are Senators Dianne Feinstein, Brian Schatz and Chuck Grassley. They sought to attach marijuana and CBD research language to the National Defense Authorization Act back in June but were unsuccessful. Before the Senate voted on the bill, Feinstein filed an amendment that would add requirements for researchers who are studying cannabis and would like to increase the quantity of the plant they use. Additionally, the amendment would stipulate that state-licensed physicians who discuss the benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabis-related products would not be in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

According to Schatz, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act will remove barriers that have prevented researchers from effectively studying the risks and benefits of cannabis thereby exploring more treatment options for a variety of diseases and illnesses. Most of the cannabis used for research is grown at the only federally authorized manufacturing facility at the University of Mississippi. However, research has found that not only is the cannabis produced there genetically closer to hemp than commercial cannabis, but it also has lower levels of CBD and THC.

The first section of the legislation covers the application process for institutions that require federal authorization to study marijuana, tasking the U.S. attorney general with approving applications or requesting supplemental information within a 60-day deadline. The second section concerns FDA approval of cannabis-derived drugs, with the DEA being mandated to approve applications for institutions seeking to manufacture cannabis-derived FDA approved drugs.

The final section requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to study the risks and benefits of marijuana, and to look into policies that are preventing research into cannabis grown in legal states and offer recommendations. Many medical organizations and pro-legalization groups have endorsed the bill.

Across the border in Canada, Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) is doing a great job extracting cannabis compounds. The firm specializes in extracting those compounds for in-house brands, white labeling and toll processing on behalf of other industry actors.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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