JAN 05, 2023 9:25 AM PST

The New Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

Scientists are excited – their ability to conduct unbiased research on cannabis just got a whole lot easier recently.

A new law, the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, will open doors to research that till now, have been closed. The Act will enable researchers to do the following:

  • Put government permits on the fast track for scientists who want to study weed, particularly theories that have remained unproven and need more conclusive evidence.
  • Speed up applications from producers, which includes universities, that want to grow cannabis for research purposes.
  • The new law will require the DEA to respond to a researcher’s application within 60 days, at which time the DEA needs to approve the application, request further information, or provide reasons for denying it. This timeline is a significant change, as researchers have reported the DEA taking a year or more to respond to their requests.
  • Most importantly, the new law requires the federal government to ensure a constant supply of cannabis available to scientists, as one of the roadblocks scientists have faced in the past is a lack of consistently available product to study.

Scientists are very encouraged by the new legislation, as the Act will help to further legitimize cannabis by treating it like a pharmaceutical.

Anecdotally, cannabis has become an increasingly popular treatment to ease cancer symptoms, chronic pain, PTSD, and anxiety. The new law will allow scientists to study the plant and gather more hard data to support cannabis as a treatment for these conditions.

All of this is promising and will hopefully lead to the eventual legalization of cannabis on a federal level. In the short term, if the feds move cannabis down to a Schedule II Classification, that will also help in achieving more mainstream acceptance of the plant and its derivatives.



Sources: Congress.gov, Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacology, Whitehouse.gov

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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