The procedure for requesting approval from the federal government to study the potential medicinal benefits of marijuana has been an elusive process wrapped in frustrating red tape. In the past, researchers have been, for the most part, at the mercy of trial-and-error to obtain the necessary information needed to submit a proposal and a clear understand of the proceedings.

Happily, Uncle Sam’s cryptic course of action regarding cannabis research has finally been revealed. Earlier last week, the Food and Drug Administration posted, for the first time ever, protocol that must be followed when requesting permission to conduct clinical trails using marijuana.

The agency posted the guidelines to its website on Friday, which according to a spokesman for the FDA, was more about making the public aware of the process than any changes to the policy.

“There is no fundamental change in the way our approval process works,” FDA spokesman, Jeff Ventura told the International Business Times, adding that posting the policy online was the agency’s way of being transparent regarding marijuana research.

According to the FDA website, anyone wishing to conduct clinical trials using marijuana must be prepared to undergo a painstaking interaction with three federal agencies: the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and finally the Drug Enforcement Agency, who are more likely to reject research of a Schedule I substance than give it the green light. It took three years for researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine to receive approval for their study of cannabis on patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Yet, Ventura says the FDA is open to working with marijuana researchers. The agency “supports those in the medical research community who intend to study marijuana in scientifically valid investigations,” and in “well-controlled clinical trials.”

To learn more about how to apply for marijuana clinical trials, visit the Food and Drug Administration’s website, “Marijuana Research with Human Subject.”

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.