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Federal: Bipartisan Coalition Introduces The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016

A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers have proposed legislation, the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016, to expedite clinical investigations into the safety and efficacy of cannabis.

Passage of the measures — House Bill 5549 and Senate Bill 3077 -- would expedite federal reviews of clinical protocols involving cannabis. It would also eliminate existing production limits for research grade cannabis and allow for investigators to access cannabis from sources other than NIDA’s University of Mississippi cultivation facility. It also mandates an FDA review of relevant cannabis studies to be performed within five years after the passage of the act.

Under present law, clinical investigations involving cannabis must meet approval from various federal agencies, including the DEA, the FDA, and the NIDA. Only cannabis provided by the NIDA may be used in clinical trials.

“Despite the fact that over 200 million Americans now have legal access to some form of medical marijuana, federal policy is blocking science. It’s outrageous,” said co-sponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon in a prepared statement. “We owe it to patients and their families to allow for the research physicians need to understand marijuana’s benefits and risks and determine proper use and dosage. The federal government should get out of the way to allow for this long overdue research.”

Please contact your members of the US House and Senate and urge their support for these important measures.