420 with CNW — House Committee Approves Cannabis Research Measure for Veterans

Last week, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed a measure that would mandate the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out clinical trials on the therapeutic potential of cannabis for military veterans. The House committee approved the bill in an 18 to 11 vote.

The bill, dubbed the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, would require the department to conduct studies on the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. Earlier versions of this measure had been introduced and cleared by the committee in 2018 and 2020. However, none was enacted into law.

In an interview, Rep. Lou Correa who sponsored the measure stated that Congress needed to explore alternative options for treatment such as marijuana, noting that not supporting the measure would defer the obligation that legislators had to care for those who had sacrificed a lot to protect the country.

David Carrol of the Department of Veterans Affairs stated that any clinical trials that involved human subjects and carried potential risks needed to use the smallest number of participants needed, in order to avoid putting them at needless risk. The representative explained that some effects of cannabis weren’t known, which is why, to ensure the validity of the research, a delimited approach that would determine best outcome measure, mode of administration and dosage had to be demonstrated in a proof-of-concept approach.

Additionally, Carrol argued that some requirements stated in the measure, such as studying different varieties of marijuana, weren’t consistent with the present state of scientific evidence, which suggested that smaller controlled clinical trials that had a focused set of objectives were ideal in determining proof of concept for using marijuana to treat various conditions.

In its legislative text, the measure lists both the optional and required elements of the trials, noting that when it comes to trials on chronic pain, the department would have to examine the effect of cannabis consumption on quality of sleep, inflammation, use of alcohol, benzodiazepine dosage and use, opioid dosage and use, osteopathic pain and quality of life.

With respect to post-traumatic stress disorder, the agency would also have to look at the extent to which marijuana impacted basic symptoms of the disorder, quality of sleep, suicidal ideation, social functioning, anxiety, mood, use of alcohol and the dosage and use of benzodiazepines.

In addition to this, the clinical trials could also assess the impact of the use of marijuana in treating PTSD and chronic pain on spasticity, neuropathy, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, psychosis, mania, motor vehicle accidents, intestinal inflammation, different types of cancer, cardiovascular events and pulmonary function.

If this bill eventually becomes law, it will be easier for scientists to study various cannabis compounds and formulations, such as those manufactured by companies such as Simply Sonoma Inc. in order to ascertain the extent to which they possess medicinal benefits.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Simply Sonoma Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/Sonoma

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