On Thursday morning, a United States House committee approved a bill allowing researchers to study marijuana and its related products from legal dispensaries. Researchers now will not have to rely on limited supplies of cannabis preparations. Before the bill was passed, this was the only federally authorized source.
The provision is now cleared by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It was included in a 1300 plus page transit bill and will now proceed to the full chamber for further considerations.
Researchers will have a chance to conduct experiments using actual marijuana products purchased by consumers. This will provide more precise results and would also allow the distribution of cannabis across states to scientists. However, the provision does not represent a previous bill that focuses on highway and transportation project fundings.
The transportation legislation contains a section that may require some stage where marijuana is legal to consider educating people about cannabis and discouraging impaired driving associated with cannabis. However, regardless of marijuana’s legal status in the states, cannabis-impaired driving takes place.
According to the provision, regardless of whether marijuana is legal, the Department of Transportation is required to consult with the Department of Health and Human Services and attorney general to provide recommendations allowing researchers to access strains and samples of marijuana being offered to patients and consumers in states where it is legal. In addition, the final report should be able to explore possibilities of establishing a national committee to help collect and distribute strains and samples for marijuana research. That will also include marijuana from states where it is legal.
The final report is due in two years. The measure states that regulatory and statutory barriers to establishing a national committee that will facilitate marijuana research should be analyzed. Despite looking like the provision is out of scope, the researchers will likely resolve marijuana access issues.