The Senate on Tuesday night approved a bipartisan bill meant to promote studies into the effects of marijuana. The move comes one week after the House passed separate cannabis research legislation.
The Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, which was filed last year, advanced by unanimous consent after being slightly amended on the floor. Its main function would be to streamline the application process for researchers who want to study the plant and to encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop cannabis-derived medicines.
It would also clarify that physicians are allowed to discuss the risks and benefits of marijuana with patients and require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a report on those potential health benefits, as well one on barriers to cannabis research and how to overcome those obstacles.