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US: Top federal health agency wants input on cannabis research barriers

The top federal health agency says that, after thousands of years of documented cannabis use for medicinal purposes, it wants to get to work identifying barriers to cannabis research to help “strengthen the scientific evidence” of the plant’s therapeutic potential.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted a request for information (RFI) on Wednesday titled, “Investigators’ interests in and barriers to research studies on the health effects of cannabis and its constituents.”

In the notice, NIH said that eight of its component agencies are partnering on the new initiative to solicit information about research barriers such as the ongoing Schedule I status of cannabis and limitations on the types of products available for use in clinical trials.

“Cannabis has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years,” NIH said. “Recently, there has been growing interest from health care providers and the public in the potential medicinal properties of cannabis-related products.”

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