A new proposed amendment to a bipartisan infrastructure bill on the Senate floor this week would significantly expand federally approved research into marijuana as well as the popular cannabinoid CBD—changes aimed at providing a better understanding of cannabis’s effects and speeding development of new therapies.
As introduced by Senate leaders early this week, the massive legislation already contains a number of cannabis provisions. One would direct federal agencies to create a plan to allow researchers to study cannabis products that consumers are purchasing from state-legal retailers, while another would encourage jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana to educate people about impaired driving.
The new amendment, proposed Wednesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would streamline the application process for researchers who want to study cannabis as well as manufacture the plant for research purposes. It’s titled the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act and has bipartisan support in cosponsors Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), who were added in a handwritten note.
The proposal resembles a standalone Senate bill that Feinstein introduced in February along with Schatz and Grassley. The Senate unanimously passed an identical form of that legislation late last year, but it was not taken up by the House by the end of the session.
Among other changes, the amendment would adjust rules to the application process for institutions seeking federal authorization to study marijuana. The U.S. attorney general would be given a 60-day deadline to either approve a given application or request supplemental information from the applicant. A wider array of institutions would also be eligible to study the drug.
Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar