Cannabis Rescheduling Won’t Come Before April

It appears the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be taking more time reviewing cannabis scheduling. “This is not coming before April,” a source told Green Market Report’s John Schroyer.

In February, Representative Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wrote to the DEA, asking the agency to give more details on their review but failed to receive an answer.

Blumenauer’s letter was a response to the DEA saying that “the final authority to schedule, reschedule, or deschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act, after considering the relevant statutory and regulatory criteria and HHS’s scientific and medical evaluation.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recommended reclassifying marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, indicating a move away from its decades-long classification as a drug with no accepted medical use and high potential for abuse. 

“Based on my review of the evidence and FDA’s recommendation, it is my recommendation as the Assistant Secretary for Health that marijuana should be placed in Schedule III of the CSA,” Assistant Secretary for the HHS Dr. Rachel Levine wrote in the report to the DEA.

This recommendation follows an August 2023 change in HHS’s stance, which itself was a response to an October 2022 directive from President Joe Biden. Biden had called for a review of marijuana’s scheduling, critiquing its classification on par with heroin and more severe than fentanyl as nonsensical.

The HHS’s new position marks a departure from its previous assertions, as recently as 2016, that marijuana should remain in Schedule I. This turnaround was influenced not by new scientific findings but by a reinterpretation of the scheduling criteria, acknowledging the medical use of marijuana in 38 states and its comparative safety to other controlled substances. 

HHS highlighted marijuana’s efficacy in treating pain, nausea, and anorexia related to medical conditions, alongside its relatively lower abuse potential and risk to users compared to drugs like heroin, cocaine, and alcohol.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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