History in the making! Biden signs the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act

On 25 November 2022, President Joe Biden made history by signing the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, becoming the first US president to sign a cannabis reform bill.This historic bill aims to facilitate scientific research on marijuana while also calling the federal government’s attention to the potential medical benefits of marijuana and promoting the marijuana re-listing review that Biden launched in October.

The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act has support from both sides of the aisle, with bill co-sponsors including Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Democratic Congresswoman Dianne Feinstein of California, and key members of the House of Representatives who support cannabis reform, such as Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Rep. Republican Senator Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio.

Last month, the US Senate passed the bill without a vote through a unanimous consent process, making it the first cannabis reform bill to be approved by both the US House and Senate. The bill would allow research universities, including those receiving federal funding, and private companies to apply for and obtain licences to grow and handle cannabis for scientific research purposes.

There are currently only seven institutions that have DEA licenses to grow cannabis for research purposes.