Medical Cannabis Research Bill For Veterans Moves To House Floor

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee unanimously approved HR 5520 (HB 5520) today, a bill designed to initiate research by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on medical cannabis. The bill would authorize study into the possibility of treating vets living with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions deemed appropriate by the Secretary of the VA.

The bill was introduced on April 16 by representatives Timothy Walz [D] and David Roe [R] along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The measure, which legislators are hoping will become law by Memorial Day, would authorize the VA Secretary to “conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis, and for other purposes.”

Federal law currently restricts VA doctors from recommending medical cannabis.

Areas of research sanctioned by HR 5520 would include the study of full plants and extracts from at least three different cannabis strains that exhibit diverse characteristics and varying ratios of THC and CBD. Researchers would analyze the strains as well as various methods of consumption such as smoking, vaporizing, ingestion, and topical application.

If the bill becomes law, the Secretary will have 180 days to submit requests, develop a plan for implementation, and send it to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Senate.