Cannabis and CBD research amendment submitted for inclusion on defense spending bill by Bipartisan lawmakers

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Any day now, the Senate will decide whether or not cannabis and CBD research should be included in a large-scale defense spending bill. The language contained in this bill was proposed by two bipartisan lawmakers — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

If their suggested amendment is approved at the Senate floor hearing, it would spur on a fresh bout of research into cannabis and its derived compounds. With this information, doctors could gain the knowledge that they require to prescribe the plant to patients, as well as stimulate approval of cannabinoid-based medicines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act” is the name of the proposal that was submitted by bipartisan lawmakers. Its submission amends the National Defense Authorization Act and is not dissimilar to a bill with the same title that was put forward by the Senate last year.

The bill’s passing would simplify the launch of cannabis and CBD research initiatives. Moreover, its prospective approval would legalize cannabis manufacturing specifically for research purposes at the federal level. Consequently, this would welcome a rush of opportunities for scientists keen to explore the plant’s therapeutic qualities.

AG would have 60 days to approve bill for cannabis and CBD research

According to the details of this amendment promoting cannabis and CBD research, the attorney general would be given a 60-day deadline to accept applications or, alternatively to request more information. Progress made within that deadline period would greatly benefit researchers who require bulk amounts of the cannabis plant.

The research expansion bill doesn’t stop there. In addition to stimulating the flow of applications for cannabis and CBD research, it would also allow researchers to seek out alternative types of Schedule I drugs that have previously been approved for investigative purposes. Since just one cannabis cultivation facility currently provides research-grade plants to scientists, the review of this latest bill is being eagerly anticipated.

A provision contained in the amendment could even trigger a wave of FDA-approved product creation for the medical cannabis market; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would be obligated to speed up the approval process of various drugs for manufacturers to produce new cannabis-derived variations for patients.

Physicians would be allowed to recommended plant-derived treatments under cannabis research bill

As the Senate takes its time to ponder over the details of the CBD and cannabis research amendment, doctors are brushing up on their knowledge of the green plant. Why? Because if the bill is approved and enacted into law, it “shall not be a violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for a State-licensed physician to discuss.”

That word “discuss” refers directly to the health benefits and potential risks associated with the use of cannabis-derived products. Under the terms of the bill, doctors and licensed healthcare physicians would be safeguarded from being penalized for providing medical cannabis recommendations.

This cannabis and CBD research amendment has been endorsed by mainstream medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Some advocacy groups are also backing the bill, such as Americans for Safe Access, Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies and NORML.