420 with CNW — NIDA Tells Congress Drug Scheduling Is Hindering Cannabis Research

November 1, 2021 16:25:15

Marijuana’s federal classification as a Schedule I controlled substance has consistently been a thorn in the plant’s side, especially as more states have chosen to legalize it in various capacities. With the drug more accessible to the public than it has ever been thanks to state cannabis reform, a growing number of people have been using cannabis either medically or recreationally.

As cannabis becomes even more popular among the masses, most experts agree that the hype around it and its purported medical abilities has far outpaced the science and that more research on marijuana’s potential benefits and risks is needed. However, its classification as an illegal drug by the federal government has been a major hindrance to more comprehensive cannabis research, a top federal agency recently told Congress.

In a report submitted to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) outlined the barriers researchers face when they try to study Schedule I substances such as cannabis, including the “administratively complex” process they have to go through before they can receive authorization from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It can take researchers more than a year to obtain a new registration, the report said, and it can take quite a while to modify a registration as well. Furthermore, different interpretations of the Schedule I registration requirements by research institutions and local DEA field officers coupled with different federal and state registration requirements make researching cannabis even more of a headache.

With all these challenges, the report says, researchers’ efforts to study cannabis more closely are often deterred or prevented. For instance, scientists who want to make a relatively minor change to their registration, such as adjusting the quantity of cannabis being used, have to re-register with the DEA. In some cases, the DEA has required that researchers obtain several registrations for each physical site where they study Schedule I drugs.

On top of listing registration-related barriers to cannabis research, the report mentioned how researchers are currently limited to using cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. For quite a while, researchers have said that the marijuana cultivated in this facility is extremely low quality, tends to be contaminated with mold and barely has any THC in it.

As cannabis use becomes more prevalent, these barriers to research present a significant health crisis. There are millions of medical marijuana patients in the country, not to mention all the people who use cannabis recreationally, and the lack of concrete scientific data on its potential benefits and risks poses a dangerous public health risk.

Fortunately, things seem to be improving. A bipartisan group of House members recently filed a bill that would streamline the research registration process and allow researchers to study cannabis sourced from dispensaries. In addition, lawmakers are working on large-scale infrastructure legislation that would provide a framework for scientists to study the marijuana consumers are actually purchasing.

Not only is the current scheduling hindering research, it is also standing in the way of the growth of the industry. For example, when companies such as American Cannabis Partners are unable to access mainstream banks, they are forced to grow at a slower pace than might have been possible if they could obtain loans from federally regulated financial institutions.

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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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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