Senate Passes Bill To Expand Cannabis Research

The U.S. Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would allow for the expansion of scientific research into cannabis and marijuana derivatives including CBD. The bill, known as the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act (S. 2032), was advanced by unanimous consent and will now head to the House of Representatives for consideration. The House passed a similar measure last week, although provisions in that bill that would allow researchers to use cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries are not included in the Senate proposal.

The Senate bill’s lead sponsors, Democrats Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Sen. Brian Hatch of Hawaii and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, applauded the action in a joint press release on Wednesday. The bill passed on Tuesday combines a bill previously introduced by Senators Feinstein and Grassley (the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act) with a bill previously introduced by Senator Schatz (the Marijuana Effective Drug Studies Act.)

“Existing regulations make medical marijuana research difficult and have prevented us from understanding exactly how medical marijuana can be used safely and effectively to treat various conditions,” said Feinstein. “Our bill streamlines the research process and paves the way for marijuana-derived medications that are FDA-approved to treat serious medical conditions, like intractable epilepsy, in a way that will keep consumers safe.”

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