The US House of Representatives has proposed a new bill, entitled the Moving Forward Act, which would allow researchers to access cannabis in states where it is commercially available.
Cannabis researchers have been required to source cannabis samples from a federally licensed manufacturer located at the University of Mississippi, a considerable limitation to their work.
The changes appear in the form of a buried provision within the INVEST in America Act, which is a much larger piece of legislation aiming to reform national transportation, including implementing new transportation safety requirements, climate change reduction strategies, and extension of federal aid for various programs.
Another cannabis-related provision within the bill is to allow for the transportation of cannabis products across state lines, even in states that have not legalized cannabis markets. There is a caveat to this of course.
Under the Act, states will also be required to devise cannabis education programs to inform drivers about the dangers of driving while consuming cannabis. These programs are similar to drinking and driving reduction programs.
The highway safety provision has drawn criticism from cannabis law reform advocates who argue that such a provision unnecessarily equates cannabis with an increase in impaired driving.
Additional amendments/provisions to the bill, including testing wastewater for different substances, were proposed but shot down by legislators.
As of today, the INVEST in America Act has passed Congress and is currently awaiting approval from the Senate. If the bill passes the Senate, it will then be passed on to the next President for approval.
In all, despite the limitations, the Moving Forward Act within the INVEST in America Act has huge potential to improve multiple elements of the cannabis industry, marking a huge step forward in conducting much-needed, in-depth research on cannabis.
Image Credit: Azam Kamolov
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