Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have advanced a highways infrastructure bill that includes language making products from state-legal cannabis markets available for federal research purposes.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have attached language to a highways infrastructure bill that would give researchers a pathway to studying cannabis products sourced from state-legal dispensaries, Marijuana Moment reports. Currently, only cannabis grown by a government-licensed facility is allowed for research purposes.
The bill was first introduced containing language requiring legal states to consider education campaigns about the dangers of stoned driving. Lawmakers then attempted to file several add-ons however that further addressed cannabis issues, including a cannabis research provision to establish, “a national clearinghouse to collect and distribute samples and strains of marijuana for scientific research that includes marijuana and products containing marijuana lawfully available to patients or consumers in a State on a retail basis.”
Lawmakers also added language to specifically allow for the inter-state transfer of such cannabis products, meaning even researchers outside of legalized states could access the potent and high-quality products from legal markets.
“There is a growing awareness among the public, politicians, and especially among those within the scientific community that the current regulations [are] both illogical and counterproductive. It makes zero sense that tens of millions of Americans can now readily purchase and consume these products, but that scientists cannot access these same products for the purpose of studying their effects on human subjects in the course of a controlled trial.” — NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, via Marijuana Moment
The DEA announced in 2016 it would expand cannabis research possibilities and license additional research-grade cannabis cultivators but the agency has been accused of foot-dragging on the issue in the years since.