SAM-drafted marijuana research bill passes Congress

Yesterday, the US Senate passed the groundbreaking bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (HR 8454) by unanimous consent. The legislation streamlines the application process for marijuana research – without altering marijuana’s Schedule I status or legalizing the drug.

BELOW IS THE PRESS RELEASE FROM SMART APPROACHES TO MARIJUANA

 

SAM-Drafted Marijuana Research Bill Passes Congress

(Washington, DC) — Today, The United States Senate passed the groundbreaking, bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (H.R. 8454) by unanimous consent. The Senate vote comes after The House of Representatives passed the legislation in July. The bill, which SAM helped draft and has supported for several years, is the first marijuana reform bill to ever pass Congress. The legislation streamlines the application process for marijuana research, encourages the FDA to develop marijuana-derived medicines, and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to report on the potential benefits and harms of marijuana use to Congress – all without altering marijuana’s Schedule I status or legalizing the drug.

Regarding today’s historic passage of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, SAM President and CEO Dr. Kevin Sabet issued the following statement:

“The historic passing of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act demonstrates that we can lower barriers to marijuana research without descheduling and legalizing marijuana. Unlike bills like the SAFE Banking Act, MORE Act, and the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act, this legislation represents needed and meaningful reform to marijuana research.

“SAM has always encouraged research on marijuana and has said for years that if marijuana is being presented as medicine, it should be treated as such and researched as such. We encourage component treatments that are FDA-approved, prescribed by a physician, and dispensed by a pharmacy. Bills like this one are key for advancing a solid, science-based research agenda.

“This bill has been a long time coming and is the result of hard work put forth by both policy makers and the scientific community. I applaud bill sponsors Congressmen Andy Harris and Earl Blumenauer, as well as Senators Brian Schatz, Dianne Feinstein, and Chuck Grassley for leading this charge on sensible marijuana research. I urge President Biden to sign this legislation when it arrives on his desk.”