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U.S. Senate votes to expand cannabis research

A unanimous U.S. Senate has voted to expand research into cannabis to see if there are any medical benefits to the drug and its compounds, including cannabidiol.

The Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act also would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health to report to Congress on the potential benefits or harms associated with using cannabis.

The legislation, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., passed Thursday by voice vote.

“Current rules and regulations make it hard for researchers to study how marijuana and marijuana-derived medications can best be used to treat various conditions,” Feinstein said.

It now goes to the House, which in December 2020 voted to expand research into the medicinal properties of cannabis by allowing researchers to obtain samples from states that have legalized weed, rather have the University of Mississippi as the only federally approved source of the drug.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, reintroduced the House bill last October.

Science magazine reported in August 2020 that the federal government spent more than $1 billion on research from 2000 to 2018, but most of the funding went for studies on the misuse and negative effects of cannabis rather than research into its medical properties. [Read More @ NJ.com]
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