This Week, The US Public Health Service Review Requirement Has Been Lifted

Since 1999, the Federal Government has required all scientific or medical studies of cannabis to be reviewed and approved by the US Public Health Service, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. Without their approval, the study would not be legally permitted even to begin. This is, and has been, a huge barrier that has prevented scientists and doctors from studying the benefits and effects of cannabis.

The review process has delayed research for years, or in some cases indefinitely. The original purpose of this rule was to ensure that only scientifically sound studies, managed by reputable professionals could occur, even if they were entirely funded by private money. Its effect (with the help of other unfriendly Federal laws) has been to halt nearly all official studies of cannabis. Other drugs, like MDMA or prescription narcotics, do not require this step.

This week, that review requirement has been lifted! There are still many laws governing what can and cannot be done with Cannabis, but this important barrier has been lifted. Because of this change, the body of sound scientific research on cannabis will certainly grow more quickly in the coming years than it has in the past.

See the Department of Health and Human Services’ official announcement.

For further reading see also the US News and World Report’s excellent article on this policy change, and a brief overview of the Federal Drug Administration‘s official policies on marijuana research.

These links don’t even come close to covering the complex web of regulations surrounding medical marijuana and scientific research. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our offices.