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U.S. Senate Passes “Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act”



On November 16th, 2022, the United States Senate passed, without amendment, the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act. If signed into law by President Biden, the passing of this Act signals a victory for more individuals and registered entities to engage in future federal research of Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol (produced from Marijuana containing more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC).


What This Bill Establishes


This bill establishes a new, separate registration process to facilitate research on marijuana. Specifically, the bill directs the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to follow specified procedures to register (1) practitioners to conduct marijuana research, and (2) manufacturers to supply marijuana for the research.


Who Can Become a Federally Registered Entity Under this Bill?


The bill allows certain registered entities (including institutions of higher education, practitioners, and manufacturers) to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess marijuana or cannabidiol (CBD) for the purposes of medical research. Additionally, the bill directs the DEA to register manufacturers and distributors of CBD or marijuana for the purpose of commercial production of an approved drug that contains marijuana or its derivative.


Other Key Points of the Bill


Finally, the bill includes various other provisions, including provisions that

  • Require the DEA to assess whether there is an adequate and uninterrupted supply of marijuana for research purposes;

  • Prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from reinstating the interdisciplinary review process for marijuana research;

  • Allow physicians to discuss the potential harms and benefits of marijuana and its derivatives (including CBD) with patients; and

  • Require HHS, in coordination with the National Institutes of Health and relevant federal agencies, to report on the therapeutic potential of marijuana for various conditions such as epilepsy, as well as the impact on adolescent brains and on the ability to operate a motor vehicle.

How Can I Become Federally Registered Individual or Business Entity?


As of now, under this bill, no application process or portal has been created. The bill is awaiting signature from President Joe Biden, so that it can then become law. If the bill is signed and made into law, interested parties will be instructed to apply for registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA will be the federal agency that will register certain registered entities (including institutions of higher education, practitioners, and manufacturers) to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess marijuana or cannabidiol (CBD) for the purposes of medical research.


If you would like to learn How to Build a Solid Legal Foundation for a Medical Marijuana Business, Belle Terre Law Firm hosts a FREE Virtual Webinar, Cannabis Businesses and Brands: A Solid Legal Foundation. To register, click the "Register for the Masterclass" button below.




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