Chuck Grassley

United States Senator from Iowa

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Feinstein, Grassley, Schatz Introduce Bill to Expand Cannabidiol, Marijuana Medical Research

Jun 28, 2019
WASHINGTON – Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, a bill to encourage scientific and medical research on marijuana and its compounds including cannabidiol, or CBD.
 
“The parents of children with severe epilepsy and other conditions are interested in cannabidiol to try to ease their children’s symptoms. I understand their interest. Research is necessary to determine the potential medical value of cannabidiol, and wherever possible, the government should help facilitate the scientific research needed to give these parents the answers they need,” Grassley said.
 
“Many parents have had success treating their children with CBD oil, particularly for intractable epilepsy, but there are still too many unknowns when it comes to the medical use of marijuana and its compounds. Current regulations make medical marijuana research difficult and stifles the development of new treatments. Our combined bill streamlines the research process and paves the way for marijuana-derived medications that are FDA-approved to keep consumers safe,” Feinstein said.
 
“The medical community agrees that we need more research to learn about marijuana’s potential health benefits, but our federal laws today are standing in the way of that inquiry. Our bill will remove excessive barriers that make it difficult for researchers to study the effectiveness and safety of marijuana, and hopefully, give patients more treatment options,” Schatz said.
 
“The AMA strongly supports the ‘Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act’ to enable legitimate research evaluating the potential efficacy and safety of medicines derived from cannabis. We applaud Sens. Feinstein, Grassley, and Schatz for their leadership in introducing this important legislation,” said American Medical Association (AMA) President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A.
 
This bill combines a bill previously introduced by Senators Feinstein and Grassley (the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act) with a bill previously introduced by Senator Schatz (the Marijuana Effective Drug Studies Act.)
 
In addition to Feinstein, Grassley and Schatz, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).
 
Background
 
  • Currently, both marijuana and CBD containing more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC) are classified as Schedule I drugs. As a result, research is subject to stringent regulations that can pose an obstacle to medical research.
 
  • CBD is largely unregulated. But thousands of parents nationwide have used CBD oil to help their children who suffer from intractable epilepsy.
 
  • Few marijuana-derived products have been FDA-approved, and there is little available information about their interactions with other medications, appropriate doses or delivery mechanisms.
 
  • The goal of the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act is to ensure that research on CBD and other potentially beneficial marijuana-derived substances is based on sound science while simultaneously reducing the regulatory barriers associated with conducting research on marijuana.
 
Full text of the bill is available here.
A list of organizations that have endorsed this bill is available here.
A one-page summary of the bill’s provisions is available here.
 
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