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Biden To Sign Bipartisan Research Bill, First Cannabis Reform Legislation To Date

November 22, 2022

The U.S. is set to enact key cannabis reform legislation in the form of a bipartisan bill intended to help vastly expand research on cannabis, which has been severely limited up to now. President Biden has pledged to sign the research legislation, which has passed both houses of Congress.

The bill directs the DEA to register manufacturers and distributors of CBD or marijuana for commercial production of a FDA-approved drugs, allows physicians to discuss the potential harms and benefits of marijuana and its derivatives (including CBD) with patients, and allows medical schools, practitioners, research institutions, and manufacturers with a Schedule I registration to cultivate their own crops for research purposes, among other provisions.

The news follows Biden’s October move to pardon all previous federal convictions for simple cannabis possession, while instructing the Justice and Health & Human Services departments to start a review of how cannabis is classified under federal drug laws. Now the question is whether Congress can seize the momentum to enact larger cannabis reforms before the end of its current term. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said in recent days that he continues to hold productive talks toward a broader reform bill, noting, “We’ll keep working for more cannabis legislation in the lame duck.”—Daniel Marsteller

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