Bennet Amendment Promotes Marijuana Research for Medical Purposes, General Discovery

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet recently introduced an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that would increase access to marijuana for researchers in Colorado. Currently, researchers face roadblocks in their efforts because of the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) overly restrictive licensing and registration regime.

"Scientists in Colorado are eager to study marijuana to help advance its medicinal use and to promote a broader understanding of it," Bennet said. "Unfortunately, the status quo doesn't meet the needs of researchers across the country. Our amendment would help advance legitimate research, while also protecting against abuse."

"This is an example of different government entities working together to try to solve a problem," said Sal Pace, Pueblo County Commissioner. "Pueblo County and CSU-Pueblo were in mind when this concept was hatched. With the creation of the Cannabis Studies Institute Pueblo is well positioned to be the national leader in medicinal cannabis research which would be a huge economic boon. I want to thank Senator Bennet for his leadership fighting for Pueblo."

Currently, the DEA has issued only one license to cultivate marijuana for research, despite the fact that the Controlled Substances Act permits the DEA to issue additional licenses if needed for legitimate research needs. Bennet's amendment would require the DEA to issue a minimum of three research licenses in each state that permits medical and recreational marijuana use. It also instructs the Attorney General and DEA Administrator to directly oversee the issuance of licenses and to expedite the registration process for practitioners in such states. In order for the approval to be expedited, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must have approved the research. It also requires the Attorney General and the DEA Administrator to set a production quota that is at least sufficient to meet the needs of approved research.