Earlier this week, Senate leaders released a bipartisan infrastructure legislation that includes provisions that permit researchers to conduct studies on the cannabis that consumers are purchasing from dispensaries in legal states. Prior to this, researchers were only allowed to conduct research on government-grown marijuana.
In addition, the legislation encourages states that have enacted marijuana legalization laws to educate individuals on impaired driving. The legislation also stipulates that the Health and Human Services Secretary and the Attorney General compile a report two years after the legislation’s enactment that would include recommendations on permitting researchers to access retail-level cannabis, which would allow them to conduct research on impaired driving.
In addition to this, the legislation notes that the report must include recommendations on creating a clearinghouse to distribute and collect strains and samples of cannabis for various research projects studying cannabis and products that contain cannabis that is available to consumers or patients on a retail basis in a legal state. It adds that researchers from states that are yet to legalize the herb should still be able to access dispensary products that are being sold in states that have ended marijuana prohibition.
Sen. John Hickenlooper, who argued that these changes were necessary to help promote research into impaired driving and establish a national standard for addressing the issue, sponsored the amendment that contained these reforms.
The legislation is to be introduced to the Senate in a few days. If approved, it would be reintroduced to the House floor for consideration before it is advanced to President Biden’s desk.
The legislation states that the marijuana research report must extensively examine federal regulatory and statutory barriers to studies on cannabis-impaired driving. The bill also comprises of a clause that would make it necessary for legal cannabis states to educate individuals on impaired driving and discourage it.
However, advocates are concerned with the language used because it ignores the fact that cannabis-impaired driving will occur, regardless of marijuana’s legal status, and targets legalized states. This does not mean that advocates aren’t supportive of measures to decrease impaired driving. They have also aired their concerns on the implication that legalizing marijuana grows the risk of individuals driving while under the influence of the herb. Research on the issue is yet to settle the matter.
Recently, a study that was promoted by the “National Institute of Justice” and funded by the federal government discovered that the amount of THC in an individual’s system after they consumed cannabis wasn’t an accurate predictor of impairment.
These attempts by federal legislators to enact some reforms to the existing prohibitive cannabis policies send signals to all marijuana industry players, including American Cannabis Partners, that a time is coming when major regulatory reforms will be implemented at the federal level, thereby putting an end to many of the contradictions inherent in federal law vs. state marijuana laws.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
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