Bradley: Like a Steam Locomotive, Rolling Down the Track: Biden Signs Marijuana Research Bill

By  on 

For decades, the federal government only allowed scientists to research marijuana grown on the campus of the University of Mississippi. While Mississippi-grown cannabis will continue to be the subject of federally sanctioned research, the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, which President Biden signed into law on December 2, 2022, will significantly expand the ability of research applicants to legally obtain cannabis and study its medicinal, therapeutic, and other impacts on users. The legislation is historic, constituting the nation’s first-ever piece of independent cannabis reform legislation. Several federal agencies will be involved with the research program created by the bill. The DEA will oversee the process through which researchers seek approval to study the plant and its byproducts and through which growers or manufacturers of marijuana-derived drugs seek approval to provide the researched products.

The law encourages the FDA to create medicines produced by cannabis by letting approved medical and osteopathic schools, practitioners, research institutions, and manufacturers with the necessary registrations cultivate their own cannabis to research. And the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to evaluate the health benefits and risks of cannabis, as well as to assess ways to open up the channels to research cannabis grown in state legal programs. The law also expressly condones a state-licensed physician to discuss how marijuana might help treat patients and the potential risks of such treatment. This latter provision arguably signifies an official pseudo adoption by Congress and the administration of state-legal medical cannabis programs.

Other takeaways abound, but there is no denying that this research bill is yet another step by the federal government towards meaningful cannabis reform.

Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers

We Support

Cannabis Law Journal – Contributing Authors

Editor – Sean Hocking

Author Bios

Matt Maurer – Minden Gross
Jeff Hergot – Wildboer Dellelce LLP

Costa Rica
Tim Morales – The Cannabis Industry Association Costa Rica

Elvin Rodríguez Fabilena


Julie Godard
Carl L Rowley -Thompson Coburn LLP

Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

New Jersey

Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

New York
Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

Washington DC
Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild