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Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act SIGNED INTO LAW!

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

A historic cannabis policy bill was signed into law by President Biden on Dec 2, 2022. The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, HR 8454, sponsored by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, marks a significant step in the history of cannabis policy, as it's the first time both houses of Congress have passed a piece of legislation loosening federal marijuana restrictions. HR 8454 expands the abilities of researchers to access cannabis for human clinical trials, as well as protects doctors who discuss the benefits and potential drawbacks of cannabis use for their patients.

Specifically, the bill expands the pool of potential growers of cannabis to supply researchers. Before HR 8454, the DEA had the authority to review and license cultivators and the researchers themselves. The process had notorious backlog issues, with “researchers often tak[ing] years before their research protocols are approved by the DEA.” The bill now allows for the Attorney General to approve potential applicants to “manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess marijuana or cannabidiol” to supply researchers to use for potential drug development and potential commercial production, hopefully expanding the pool of manufacturers and easing access to cannabis for researchers. Moreover, the bill calls for federal research into the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol and how to overcome barriers to access to potential CBD products. You can find the full text of the bill here.

Have questions about HR 8454 or how this new federal policy can create opportunities for your business? EARTH Law LLC works to help the hemp industry navigate the waters of both Oregon and federal regulations. Email to schedule a consultation. Contact us today!

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