House members propose expedite legalization to change rules for marijuana research
The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act
On July 26, lawmakers pass the bipartisan Medical marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act to streamline the investigator application process and remove FDA hurdles.
Members of the United States House of Representatives vote last night in favor of a law call ” The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act “, which aims to facilitate scientific research on marijuana and the potential development of drugs.
Two hundred and sixteen Democrats vote for the bill, along with 109 Republicans. Ninety-five Republicans vote against moving the bill forward. It now goes to the Senate, where lawmakers had already vote unanimously in favor of similar legislation in April. The bill is expect to be quickly sent to the President’s office.
The law gives the US Attorney General’s office 60 days to approve or deny applications from scientists to participate in clinical trials involving the use of marijuana by humans. (Protocols must first be review and approve by the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health before being authorize by the Attorney General. These agencies do not have an explicit deadline to complete your reviews).
Cultivate marijuana for research purposes law
The law also directs the United States Attorney General to solicit applications from those who wish to cultivate marijuana for research purposes or potential drug development, and sets a time frame within which the Attorney General must approve such applications.
The law also requires federal agencies, including HHS, to provide a report on the “potential therapeutic effects of cannabidiol or marijuana in serious medical conditions.” Similar reports of this nature have been compile by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for Congress in the past, though these reports received little attention.
Under current regulations
the US Drug Enforcement Administration is primarily responsible for reviewing and issuing licenses to marijuana growers, as well as issuing Schedule I licenses to scientists who wish to study marijuana within a clinical setting. In 2016, the agency announce that it will expand the pool of federally license cultivators beyond the University of Mississippi (which originally obtain a federal license to cultivate marijuana in 1968).
In May 2021, the agency announce that it had reach agreements with a handful of third-party applicants to allow them to grow marijuana for use in federally approve clinical trials. However, the US National Institute on Drug Abuse has not yet formally partner with any of these entities, and there is no explicit timeline for when it will do so.
scientists who want to work with marijuana have complain that the DEA often takes years to approve their research protocols and that the quality of marijuana provide by the University of Mississippi’s marijuana cultivation program is substandard and not representative of the products. available in state legal markets.
In response to these complaints, members of the House of Representatives earlier this year pass HR 5657: The Medical Marijuana Research Act, which allows license scientists access for the first time to marijuana flowers and other products manufacture under state-approve marijuana growers. However, these explicit provisions were not include in the new bill that both chambers are fast-tracking.
Deputy Director NORML Paul Armentano criticize this omission. “Currently, the variety of marijuana cultivars available to federally license researchers does not represent the type or quality of marijuana products currently available in legal state markets,” he say.
“The fact that nearly half of American adults have legal access to this multitude of marijuana products, but our nation’s top scientists do not, is the height of absurdity and an indictment of the current system. This proposal misses the opportunity to change this reality.
Separate legislation in the House of Representatives, the new Key marijuana Research Nationalization and Development Act of 2022, sponsor by Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH), allows license scientists conduct state-license clinical trials. marijuana products and allocates funds for the establishment of academic research centers to engage in “interdisciplinary marijuana-relate research.”
Despite federal obstacles
Scientific interest and studies related to marijuana have increase dramatically in the last two decades. Since 2010, approximately 30,000 peer-review articles dealing with the marijuana plant or its components have been publish by scientists in the United States and around the world, with the total number of articles increasing each year. By comparison, the researchers publish fewer than 3 total articles on marijuana between 000 and 1990 and fewer than 1,999 total studies during the 2 decade.