US: Senate Committee issues directives on MMJ access and hemp genetics innovation

A powerful U.S. Senate panel is calling on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to facilitate medical cannabis access for veterans and explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. They’re also asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take steps to promote the hemp industry and cannabis genetics research.

Reports attached to 2024 Fiscal Year spending bills that recently advanced through the Senate Appropriations Committee touch on a number of cannabis issues. The text was released days after the panel approved the underlying legislation, including one bill that was amended to allow VA doctors to discuss and recommend medical cannabis to patients living in legal states.

Accordingly, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations report includes a section that directs VA to “make appropriate recommendations, complete forms, or take other actions to facilitate a veteran’s decision to participate in such programs approved by a State and document it appropriately, to the extent allowable under Federal law.”

It also notes that the spending bill itself includes the language “prohibiting the use of funds to interfere with the ability of veterans to participate in State-approved medicinal cannabis programs or deny service to such veterans.” Another section of the report discusses the “increased interest in studying psychedelic therapies and their potential therapeutic effects for veterans.”


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