On May 25, 2017, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced that they had introduced the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, a bill that would ask the Attorney General to reconsider cannabidiol’s scheduling in the Controlled Substances Act and expand research opportunities as a means of determining the medical efficacy of cannabidiol and marijuana in the treatment of serious medical conditions.
“Cumbersome research regulations have made it difficult to conduct research on the potential medical benefits of marijuana,” Feinstein said in a press release. “I strongly believe such research is necessary, especially for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. This bill paves the way for new research to be conducted with greater ease to determine if cannabidiol can be an effective medication for serious illnesses such as intractable epilepsy.”
According to Grassley, “Research is necessary to determine the potential medical value of cannabidiol, and wherever possible, the government should help facilitate the scientific research needed to give these parents the answers they need.”
The Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act would specifically direct the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze the medical efficacy of cannabidiol and marijuana within a year of the bill being enacted, reschedule CBD as a Schedule II substance, streamline federal research protocols, decrease federal research barriers, allow an array of accredited health-related organizations to possess cannabidiol and marijuana for research, establish a path for commercially producing FDA-approved medicines derived from marijuana and legalize the possession of non-psychoactive marijuana components.
Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Thom Tillis, R-NC, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, are also cosponsors of the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act.