Primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research will hold marijuana workshop

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The workshop will discuss how to study cannabinoids under current federal restrictions

Next month, the National Institutes of Health, through the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, will hold a workshop on cannabinoids. The purpose is to discover how cannabinoids can be studied in accordance with the “current regulatory framework” of marijuana prohibition and will “will bring together researchers, government officials, and industry representatives to discuss the processes and issues related to conducting cannabinoid research,” according to the workshop’s description.

The meeting is strictly for discussion on cannabinoid study and “will NOT discuss challenging or changing current Federal laws, policies or regulations.” In other words, discussion on how to lead the research will not include talk of how the prohibition is stifling marijuana research. It will, however, target “the state of the science and working within current regulations.” Additionally, it will focus on developing “an understanding of how to navigate this regulatory space,” as well as future research opportunities.

There will be three components of the workshop and will include speakers from a variety of federal agencies. Scheduled to lead discussions are the Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

There has been a lot of pressure lately on federal agencies to ease restrictions that could allow further marijuana research. A report last month showed that federal regulators are beginning to come around and the FDA has publicly stated that cannabidiol doesn’t meet the criteria to be controlled by the government. All of these efforts are paving the way for 2019 to be the year that federal marijuana laws are relaxed in the U.S.