A group of lawmakers recently touted Senate advancement of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, which now proceeds to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The measure, introduced by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI), expands research into marijuana-derived medications. The House of Representatives passed the legislation in July. U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andy Harris (R-MD) spearheaded the legislation.
“There is substantial evidence that marijuana-derived medications can and are providing major health benefits,” Feinstein said. “Our bill will make it easier to study how these medications can treat various conditions, resulting in more patients being able to easily access safe medications. We know that cannabidiol-derived medications can be effective for conditions like epilepsy. This bill will help refine current medical CBD practices and develop important new applications.”
The measure would streamline the scientific marijuana studies application process while eliminating barriers that frequently slow the research process.
“I’ve heard directly from Iowans who are desperately in search of treatment options for conditions like child epilepsy,” Grassley said. “Unfortunately, many families have resorted to using untested, unregulated derivatives from the marijuana plant as a last resort to treat these conditions. Since 2015, I’ve pushed to expand medical research into marijuana derivatives such as cannabidiol to better understand their benefits and potential harms.”
Schatz said more research is needed to learn about marijuana’s potential health benefits.
“Our bill, which is now set to become law, will remove excessive barriers that make it difficult for researchers to study the effectiveness and safety of marijuana and, hopefully, give patients more treatment options,” he said.