Heading into the new year with new leadership, an air of mystery hovered over medical marijuana in the sunshine state. With Democrat Nikki Fried becoming the new Agriculture Commissioner and Republican Ron DeSantis becoming the new Governor of the sunshine state, Fried made it clear that she wanted to have those conversations with the Governor.
Now, it seems like the conversation is inching closer as one of Governor DeSantis’ most ardent supporters, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, has introduced legislation to expand medical marijuana research.
With the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019, Gaetz argues that “for too long, Congress has faced a dilemma with cannabis-related legislation: we cannot reform cannabis law without researching its safety, its efficacy, and its medical uses – but we cannot perform this critical research without first reforming cannabis law.”
The bill would increase the number of licenses that are made available to institutions like universities that would be able to study the beneficial effects of marijuana on cancer, PTSD, epilepsy and other types of patients.
He added, “the Medical Cannabis Research Act helps break that logjam, allowing researchers to study medical cannabis without fear of legal jeopardy.”
Gaetz further informed that “This bipartisan legislation will make a tremendous difference to researchers nationwide, who may finally be able to develop cures for illnesses that affect many of America’s most vulnerable populations.”
And, he concluded by assuring that he believes “that this bill has a chance to pass this Congress and be signed into law by the President, who expressed his support for medical cannabis during his campaign. I thank my colleagues for their support and look forward to passing sweeping cannabis reform legislation this Congress.”
Democrat Congressman Darren Soto cosponsored the bill, and Congressman Gaetz has even shown interest in presenting a bipartisan bill with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to make marijuana fully legal.