Congressional group urges feds to speed research into medical cannabis

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A bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress on Tuesday sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Uttam Dhillion, the acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, urging their agencies to speed research into medical marijuana instead of impeding it.

Specifically, the lawmakers asked the agencies to approve at least one of 26 applications seeking federal approval to cultivate medical cannabis that were submitted under an Obama-era initiative.

This is not the first such Congressional push. Others included:
  • In September 2018, a group of 15 members of Congress made a similar appeal to Dhillion and then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
  • In April 2018, U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, sent Sessions a letter seeking the end of obstructionism on “more than two dozen requests to grow marijuana for use in research.”

The University of Mississippi is currently the only U.S. institution federally approved to grow cannabis for research purposes.