Biden Signs Cannabis Research Reform

Liz Filmer
28 Dec 2022

President Joe Biden made history earlier this month as the first American president to sign cannabis-specific reform legislation into law.

Biden signed the bipartisan "Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act".

The milestone legislation is planned to make it more uncomplicated for scientific researchers to study the plant. It also calls on the federal government to look into the possible therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Thus helping to steer the ongoing rescheduling review Biden launched back in October.

This is the first cannabis reform bill to be passed by both chambers of Congress after it cleared the Senate last month. The bill allows research universities, whether in receipt of federal funding or private companies, to acquire U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration licenses to grow and use cannabis for research objectives.

Only seven institutions currently have a DEA permit to grow cannabis for research.

The bill also instructs the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to study "the therapeutic potential of marijuana." Nevertheless, it also directs the agency to investigate how cannabis might damage the development of juvenile brains and the ability to use a motor vehicle.

The bill potentially unlocks a new line of business for firms seeking cannabis-based treatments, including pharmaceutical goliaths.

If the research is prosperous, it ultimately could lead to cannabis-based products being marketed and sold using medical claims based on solid science.

"Research is foundational for the path forward on cannabis policy," gov representative.

This new decree also permits doctors to debate the "potential harms and benefits" of cannabis with patients. The research bill is the first of several cannabis reform measures currently under contemplation.

Liz Filmer