by Michelle Rutter, NCIA’s Government Relations Manager
The 116th Congress just recently began, but there’s already been a flurry of new cannabis bills filed. Let’s take a look at this new piece of cannabis legislation that was introduced simultaneously in both chambers:
Bill: H.R. 493/S. 179: VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2019
Introduced by: Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
Additional cosponsors: Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Don Young (R-AK), Dina Titus (D-NV), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Katie Hill (D-CA), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
What it does: This bipartisan, bicameral bill requires research into the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis usage on veterans diagnosed with PTSD and chronic pain. This legislation would:
- Require VA to conduct a double-blind clinical trial with varying forms of cannabis on specified health outcomes of veterans with PTSD and veterans with chronic pain
- Authorize a long-term observational study of participating veterans
- Require the VA to preserve all data collected or used for the purposes of conducting future research related to medicinal cannabis
- Require the VA to submit annual reports to Congress on the implementation of this bill for five years.
NCIA is proud to have endorsed this legislation for two congressional sessions.
Many more (possibly dozens!) of cannabis bills are expected to be filed in the next few months. NCIA will continue to track these pieces of legislation and endorse critical cannabis reforms on Capitol Hill.