House Committee Advances Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Research
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On September 9, 2020, a U.S. House of Representatives committee advanced a bill to expand access to marijuana for research purposes. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce voted unanimously by voice vote in favor of HR 3797, the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019. The bill would: “amend the Controlled Substances Act to make marijuana accessible for use by qualified marijuana researchers for medical purposes, and for other purposes.”
HR 3797 – Medical Marijuana Research Act.
The amendment to existing federal law would allow researchers to use “marijuana products available through State-authorized marijuana programs” until there are federally-approved suppliers who can meet the demand of the federal researchers. More specifically, there will be no limit on the number of entities that could be federally approved to cultivate and distribute cannabis for research purposes. Additionally, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would be required to submit a report to Congress that includes a review of cannabis research and a note on whether cannabis should be rescheduled on the drug schedules that are used to decide what drugs are controlled substances.
The amendment also takes care of a problem in the law it amends to prevent government law enforcement officials from interfering with the sale or distribution of research marijuana.
Advancement in Cannabis Cultivation.
Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, (NORML) said in a statement that the amendments to the law advanced by the bill were “necessary and long overdue.”
“Rather than compelling scientists to access marijuana products of questionable quality manufactured by a limited number of federally licensed producers, federal regulators should allow investigators to access the cannabis and cannabis-infused products that are currently being produced in the legal marketplace by the multitude of state-sanctioned growers and retailers,” Armentano said.
George F. Indest III, President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm also stated: “This is a law that is necessary and long overdue.” He urged everyone to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators and ask them to vote in favor of it.
The next step for the bill is a vote on the House floor; however, it is unclear whether this will happen and when it will happen, given everything that is occurring at present.
To read HR3797 in full, click here.
EVERYONE SHOULD WRITE THEIR U.S. CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND THEIR TWO SENATORS AND REQUEST THAT THEY SUPPORT THIS BILL.
Click here to go to our Marijuana Law Blog page and read my prior blog on this subject to learn more.
Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical and Recreational Marijuana Concerns.
The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists, and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting, and/or licensing while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies, and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.
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Reisman, Sam. “House Committee Advances Medical Marijuana Research Bill.” Law360. (September 9, 2020).
Rashidian, Nushin. “Key House Committee Advances Cannabis Research Bill.” Cannabis Newswire. (September 9, 2020). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave. Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.
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