Marijuana Research Bill Passes House Committee

A bill that would pave the way for more scientific research on marijuana cleared the House Judiciary Committee Thursday, marking the second time that a standalone cannabis reform bill has ever passed a congressional committee.

The Medical Cannabis Research Act would compel the Department of Justice to allow the issuance of more cultivation licenses for scientific research.

“We must ensure that an adequate and uninterrupted supply of research-grade cannabis is available to safe harbor provisions for research facilities,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who sponsored the bill. “I am proud to lead the efforts to unlock cures through important scientific research.”

Thursday’s approval came despite some intense disagreement over a provision pertaining to people with prior marijuana convictions. The legislation bars anyone with a “conviction for a felony or drug-related misdemeanor” from involvement in marijuana research cultivation. That aspect of the bill blunted support from marijuana reform advocates, some of whom actually urged lawmakers to vote no.


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