Everybody is talking about the MORE Act and all the cannabis legislation that the House voted on. For me though, something the Senate swiftly moved forward with is far more interesting. Extensive cannabis research is gaining popularity with both democrats and republicans again. It’s even something we’ve touched on in the past. When discussing bi-partisan legalization, research is a key factor. We need education to refute stereotypical claims. That education is in the form of federally approved peer-reviewed cannabis research, something cannabis has been denied for quite some time.
At the moment, federally recognized cannabis research is only allowed at the University of Mississippi. The cannabis they use, unfortunately, is never of sufficient quality. The cannabis that people use to heal themselves and the product being tested, however, on is so different in quality, it’s impossible to link the results of the two. These varying batches of cannabis are what our country debates medical facts with though. So, in the grander scheme of things, following the legality path for cannabis without addressing this could actually hurt the industry more than help it.
Luckily, Law360 reported that the U.S. Senate passed a related act. This past Tuesday, they passed the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act. It will expedite the process required for researchers to get Drug Enforcement Administration approval to possess cannabis for research.
Expedited Approval for Cannabis Research
Research, when it comes to cannabis, is typically the last thing on anyone’s mind. The topic can make us feel jaded given the country’s history with cannabis and it’s selective use of studies and research to sway the public. Legislation like this can equally hurt or help the industry, depending on the subtext and loopholes. If you’re interested in the full-text of the act, click here. As we’ve seen in recent states, legislation can be well-intentioned but play out much differently when practiced.
Additionally, last week the House made changes to the Controlled Substance Act. Their new measure will create structure for cannabis research and remove limitations on it. It would direct the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to license federal cannabis producers. While all of the measure hasn’t been approved, the Senate is investigating how researchers can access cannabis in legal states. The Department of Health and Human services, however, is steady getting started on researching the effects of cannabis on developing brains and users’ cognitive abilities.
It’s only natural for their first topics to be the biggest arguments against cannabis. Maybe this way, we can prove some of their hypocrisy to them? At the same time, it could be an easy way to create a corporate cannabis monopoly. We hear the words research thrown around a lot. Most of the time, it’s ironic mockery of what the federal government has done to cannabis. Never let it detract from the fact, the federal government doesn’t even allow cannabis research on high-quality cannabis of any kind. So whenever they use ‘peer-reviewed’ studies in a stigma-driven address, it’s probably not the same stuff any of us are consuming.
There is good to come from this. Don’t forget this either. All the movement in favor of cannabis shows that the conversation around the community and the culture is changing. So, stay diligent and stay high, my friends.
Cannabis research AND legalization needs to be done right. Not fast!