Rescheduling is important to states and the marijuana industry…and people are looking for clues
States with legal marijuana want the tax revenue. Cannabis businesses need relief and help to continue and grow. The marijuana industry needs to move to the next level of legitimate industry. And consumers and patients need reliable, safe products which are the same from store to dispensary. This is the role of the federal government, but for the first two years, the Biden industry dithered. But the wheels have started turning and now they are more marijuana rescheduling hints.
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The biggest hint is the breaking news came today during a short email sent from HHS. “Good afternoon and thank you for your patience,” a Department of Justice attorney said in an email on Thursday. “The agency has advised that it will release the letter and its enclosures in their entirety.”
The letter and its enclosures mean The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has agreed to release documents related to its recommendation to federally reschedule marijuana in its entirety. This seems to be do to potential litigation over a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the findings. The release adds pressure if the DEA plans to break precedent by not following HHS’s recommendation.
SAFER Banking advocate Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer shared HHS has recommended marijuana be moved from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance.
According to the DEA, Schedule I drugs have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. The National Institute of Health disagrees on their website. And with rescheduling, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would become involved, while it is more of an onerous process, it would establish guidelines to make it more acceptable to major mainstream retailers and, more importantly, the medical community.
Additionally, rescheduling the drug would reduce or potentially eliminate criminal penalties for possession. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD.
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The industry agrees with Schumer who made a clear appeal when he shared the “DEA should now follow through on this important step to greatly reduce the harm caused by draconian marijuana laws.”