The U.S. House has once again approved legislation to expand cannabis research, sending it to the Senate for consideration.
Lawmakers passed the bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act July 26 with 325 votes, according to a press release from the office of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., one of the bill’s primary sponsors.
The legislation, also sponsored by Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., aims to encourage research on cannabis and its potential benefits by streamlining the application process for researchers and removing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) barriers, according to the release.
“Research is a foundational element for cannabis policy,” Blumenauer, who is also the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said in a public statement. “At a time when there are four million registered medical marijuana patients and many more likely to self-medicate, it is crucial that researchers are able to fully study the health benefits of cannabis. For too long, the federal government has stood in the way of science and progress, creating barriers for researchers obtaining resources and approval to study cannabis. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is an important first step to changing that.”
The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act largely mirrors the Senate’s Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act, which Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, filed in March.
The U.S. Senate passed that legislation March 24.
The House’s Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act builds on a separate cannabis research proposal in that chamber called the Medical Marijuana Research Act,