July 29, 2014

SB 14-155: Creating a Grant Fund to Study Health Effects of Medicinal Marijuana

On March 10, 2014, Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Jenise May introduced SB 14-155 - Concerning Grant Funding for Medical Marijuana Health Effects Studies. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Joint Budget Committee

The bill creates a health research subaccount (subaccount) in the medical marijuana program cash fund (cash fund). The subaccount provides funding for medical marijuana health research. The department of public health and environment (department) may transfer moneys from the cash fund to the subaccount and has continuous spending authority over the subaccount. No more than $10 million may be transferred to the subaccount.

The bill creates a medical marijuana research grant program (grant program) in the department. The grant program will provide the framework for funding research to ascertain the general medical efficacy, and appropriate administration of marijuana. The state board of health (state board) shall promulgate rules for the administration of the grant program, including:

  • The procedures and timelines for applying for grants;
  • Grant application contents;
  • Criteria for selecting grantees and determining the amount and duration of the grants; and
  • Reporting requirements for grantees.

The bill creates a scientific advisory council (council) to evaluate research proposals seeking a grant from the grant program. The executive director of the department shall appoint the members of the council, and the chief medical officer of the department will also serve on the council and act as chair. The members will serve two-year terms that may be reappointed and will be reimbursed for travel expenses.

The grant recommendations will be submitted to the state board for a final determination.

The grant program shall report annually to the state board on the progress of the medical marijuana studies.

The bill directs the attorney general to seek federal authority to allow Colorado institutions of higher education to cultivate marijuana for research funded by this bill.

The bill is assigned to the Health & Human Services Committee.

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