For the second time this month, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a federal marijuana reform bill—this one promoting research into the plant and allowing scientists to study cannabis from state-legal businesses for the first time.
After the chamber approved a comprehensive bill to federally legalize marijuana on Friday, leadership announced that members would be taking up the Medical Marijuana Research Act, bipartisan legislation that advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Committeein September.
The bill, which has been slightly revised in the months since, will be considered under a procedure known as suspension of the rules, meaning there will be no further amendments and it will require a two-thirds majority to pass. Given the bipartisan nature of the legislation, sponsored by the unlikely duo of pro-legalization Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and prohibitionist Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), it’s expected to get that support.
As the proposal was originally drafted, it would have made it so researchers could access marijuana from additional federally approved private manufacturers. But an amendment in the nature of a substitute was approved in committee that included the component expanding access to state-legal dispensaries.