Senate approves marijuana research bill similar to House measure

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A bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate to expand marijuana and CBD research was approved by the upper chamber on a unanimous voice vote, less than a week after the House of Representatives passed its own MJ research legislation.

The question now becomes whether the two chambers can reconcile the pair of bills and approve a final version before the current congressional session ends Jan. 3.

The main difference between the two measures, according to Marijuana Moment, is the House version would allow more participation by private businesses while the one passed Tuesday by the Senate would still rely solely on cannabis produced at the University of Mississippi.

To date, that institution is still the only federal contractor allowed to provide cannabis for research purposes.

“Researching marijuana is widely supported by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and it’s a smart step forward in addressing this current Schedule 1 drug,” Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, a Republican sponsor of the Senate bill, noted in a statement.