The Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act was introduced in the United States Senate last week.
The bill aims to lower barriers to cannabidiol (CBD) research and also help protect some patients using it from prosecution.
While the genie is out of the bottle in many US states, federally-speaking manufacturing medical cannabis products in their many shapes and forms is still generally illegal – even cannabidiol, which is non-intoxicating.
However, the increasing popularity of cannabis as medicine and stark mismatch between state and federal laws is starting to cause a few headaches; and making the US federal government look rather backward.
The easing of regulations relating to cannabidiol is a small step, some would say a very small step, in the right direction.
Under the bill, registered educational institutions and registered manufacturers may manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess “marihuana” or cannabidiol if it is distributed, dispensed, or possessed for purposes of authorized medical research.
The Act also stipulates “safe harbor” for adults and legal guardians of children who possess possess or transport cannabidiol or other non-intoxicating component in relation to treating intractable and drug-resistant epilepsy. However, THC (tetrahydrocannibinol), the major psychoactive cannabinoid is still off-limits at a federal level.
The introduction of the bill was generally well received by Americans for Safe Access (ASA)
“It is encouraging to see that the leadership of the Senate Drug Caucus recognizes that patients today need immediate access to medical cannabis products to treat their debilitating conditions,” said Michael Liszewski, ASA Government Affairs Director.
“While we are encouraged that Senators Grassley and Feinstein have asserted that exemptions to federal law are good policy, we are concerned about the millions of patients this proposal currently leaves out.”
Cannabidiol has been shown to provide benefits in treating a number of other conditions due to its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, analgesic, anti-tumour and anti-anxiety attributes.
The ASA says it is continuing its efforts in seeing the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S. 683/H.R. 1538) passed; which further eases restrictions on medical marijuana and increases protections for patients.
Further information: Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (S. 3269) (PDF – Full text)