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April 19, 2022 0 Comments

Current Federal Cannabis Bills

Though no legislation on marijuana research has reached President Joe Biden’s desk yet, there are bills making headway. Here’s an overview of the two that have the best chance of getting his signature.

H.R. 5657

This bill cleared the House on Monday, April 4th. H.R. 5657 or the Medical Marijuana Research Act, is more expansive than the bill we’ll review later in this article. It would allow research of state-legal cannabis products, among others.

This bill, introduced by Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer in October of 2021, also aims to expand the number of federally-approved cannabis growers for research. 

The bill also states that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will register practitioners t conduct medical marijuana research and to allow manufacturers and distributors to supply marijuana for that research. Further, the text states that the Department of Health and Human Services must continue to produce marijuana through the National Institute on Drug Abuse Drug Supply Program and implement a specialized process for supply marijuana products available through state-authorized marijuana programs until manufacturers and distributors can provide a sufficient supply of marijuana dedicated to medical research.

S. 253 

Introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein in February 2021, The Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act cleared the Senate in late March of this year, around the same time the MORE Act passed in the House.

S.253 calls for a report on the effects of THC on “developing adolescent brains” and “cognitive abilities, such as those that are required to operate motor vehicles or heavy equipment.” This bill places special emphasis on CBD (cannabidiol), which does not have high quantities of THC and does not produce the “high” like cannabis products with THC. A CBD-based treatment called Epidiolex for seizures is already approved on a federal level. It is the first and only FDA-approved prescription containing CBD.

If this Act does become law, it will protect researchers who are “appropriately registered” under the Controlled Substances Act. 

Said Senator Feinstein. “This bill, which passed the Senate unanimously last year, would streamline the research process to allow FDA-approved marijuana-derived medications to be used to treat serious medical conditions. Millions may ultimately benefit from a new, safe treatment for conditions like intractable epilepsy once this bill becomes law.”  

Turning Enemies into Allies

While not everyone serving in Congress is for federal legalization, the majority agrees that, with so many states making it legal, more research needs to be done. In coming to this agreement, those serving on both sides of the aisle have come together to push legislation that would allow research to be done without fear or reproach of legal intervention. 

“If we’re going to have medical marijuana legal in over three dozen states, we really ought to research on it to see with it’s used or and what it can’t be used for,” explained Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, a legalization opponent. 

What Lies Ahead

Since neither bill has made law and both languished for months before even getting this far, it’s unlikely that anything will happen very fast. However, when the bills do become law, proponents of federal marijuana legalization are hopeful that the research will open the door to the open use of this healing plant that has been pushed into the shadows for so long. 

As for Louisiana and citizens from dozens of other states, marijuana is already available and ready to be added to treatment plans for chronic conditions. Contact The Healing Clinics to get started on your healing journey or click the button to start right now.