The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019 (HR 601) would amend Section 303 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to increase the number of cannabis manufacturers for legitimate research purposes and allow providers of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer veterans to participate in federally approved cannabis clinical trials. ‘Legitimate research purposes’ is defined under section 303(a) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 823(a)(1))
Under this new amendment, manufacturers producing cannabis expressly for research purposes would obtain a separate registration. For one year following the enactment of this act, those currently registered under this subsection to manufacture cannabis would not be required to submit a separate registration. The application process would include a written explanation of how the manufactured cannabis would serve to improve the national supply for legitimate research purposes.
These new registered manufacturers would further provide an adequate and uninterrupted supply of cannabis given that the manufacturers meet the stated requirements. These stated requirements include that manufacturers would need to provide cannabis only to researchers who are permitted to conduct research with Schedule I controlled substances, be licensed by the state to manufacture cannabis, complete criminal background checks for all personnel, and have the ability to test and isolate at least twelve cannabinoids, among other measures.
Another component of this act would allow healthcare providers of the VA to inform veterans about participation in federally approved cannabis clinical trials and complete forms related to their participation. Additionally, the VA would be able to receive information regarding results of the clinical trials conducted and the VA would be permitted to conduct research on cannabis within the Department if those researchers are registered under the CSA.