On November 16, 2022, the Senate approved the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Act, which previously passed the house in July 2022. This bill is the first ever standalone cannabis reform bill that has passed Congress.
The bill is now headed to President Biden’s desk for signature. If signed, this legislation will ease federal restrictions on cannabis research. This bill streamlines the application process for researchers, and allows higher quantities of cannabis for research purposes.
As cannabis advocates, we know what a BIG step this is in cannabis reform. However, we also know this is just the first step. Cannabis patients are still being left behind by the archaic federal rules around cannabis, and these harms cannot be righted without full reform for medical cannabis.
While this bill will streamline research application processes and open up more opportunities for much needed cannabis research, it does not change any aspect of federal law that currently harms patients. Unfortunately, there are still federal restrictions on medical cannabis, which prevent patients from traveling with their medicine, accessing cannabis treatments on federal property, working for the federal government, or receiving financial assistance through insurance.
Despite this bill being a win for cannabis advocates, we still have a long way to go until no patient is left behind. It is important for cannabis advocates to continue our work and to use this momentum for cannabis patient reform.
Use our template to send a letter to President Biden urging him to sign the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Act and to urge him to support full medical cannabis reforms at the federal level.