By Polly Washburn, The Cannabist Staff
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said there should be “more competition” among growers who supply marijuana for federally approved research, though he said he thought the current applicant pool of 26 was too many.
His statement came in response to a question from Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah. Hatch referred to legislation he recently co-sponsored with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, known as the MEDS Act. “I believe that scientists need to study the potential benefits and risks of marijuana,” said Hatch, though clarifying that “I remain opposed to the broad legalization of marijuana.”
“What a surprising yet encouraging response from our attorney general. Our federal government’s prohibition on cannabis has greatly stunted the medical community’s ability to conduct research, vital to acquiring quality scientific evidence regarding the efficacy and use of cannabis for the treatment of various debilitating medical conditions. In addition, conducting any type of medical experiment using one sample source, produces skewed unusable results, which limit scientific progress. By authorizing a wider sample source, we can also expand the depth of our medical research and development. There is no down side to allowing for greater exploration, examination and investigation into all aspects of the use of the cannabis plant.”