Federal agencies may soon start researching medical marijuana

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced legislation to help federal agencies research potential medical benefits of marijuana.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced legislation to help federal agencies research potential medical benefits of marijuana. The Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act would require HHS and the Department of Justice to "complete an analysis to determine the medical value" of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. The measure would also take cannabidiol off the most stringent Schedule I classification when used for research. The lawmakers said cannabidiol has shown positive effects for illnesses such as epilepsy in children, but severe restrictions on federal research have created "a significant obstacle to medical developments." The legislation would enable accredited research institutions and pharmaceutical companies located in states with legalized medical marijuana to conduct research authorized by FDA.