A U.S. Senate committee approved a bipartisan bill on Thursday to promote marijuana research for military veterans—becoming the first piece of standalone cannabis legislation ever to advance through a committee in the chamber.
Because the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee did not have a quorum present to act on the bill and either other veterans measures up for consideration during its scheduled morning markup meeting, members instead approved the legislation in a more informal “off the floor” session later in the day.
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, sponsored by panel Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), is intended to mandate studies by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain.
A staffer with Sullivan’s office confirmed the vote result, which was not streamed live, to Marijuana Moment.
The Senate committee development comes two days after a House companion version was filed by Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Jack Bergman (R-MI).
The bill has been revised in this latest version to give VA latitude in determining for itself whether it’s capable of overseeing clinical trials into marijuana for chronic pain and PTSD.
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