US Senate passes cannabis research bill, but House must weigh in

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The U.S. Senate gave unanimous approval to a bipartisan bill to “cut the red tape” that stalls scientific research into the medical properties of cannabis and cannabidiols.

According to a news release issued Thursday by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, the Senate approved S. 253 on a voice vote.

The measure – which would authorize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study cannabis products – now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

S. 253 was co-sponsored by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz, who both lauded the bill’s success.

“This bipartisan bill is critical to better understanding the marijuana plant and its potential benefits and side effects,” Grassley said in the release.

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“It will empower the FDA to analyze CBD and medical marijuana products in a safe and responsible way so that the American public can decide whether to utilize them in the future based on sound scientific data.”

The Senate measure comes almost a year after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration signaled it might ease its restrictions on marijuana research.