Biden Administration Announces Cannabis Rescheduling

A Monumental Day in Cannabis History

On May 16, President Joe Biden formally announced the Biden administration’s decision to reschedule cannabis under federal law from a schedule I to a schedule III substance. 

In a video message, Biden said this was “monumental.” 

“Today my administration took a major step to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug. It’s an important move towards reversing longstanding inequities,” he said. “Today’s announcement builds on the work we’ve already done to pardon a record number of federal offenses for simple possession of marijuana. It adds to the action we’ve taken to lift barriers to housing, employment, small business loans, and so more for tens of thousands of Americans.”

In a similar video, Vice President Kamla Harris echoed Biden’s sentiment. 

“So currently, marijuana is classified on the same level as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl. We are finally changing that,” Harris said. “We are on the road to getting it done.”


What Cannabis Rescheduling Means Now and for the Future

We now have the notice of proposed rulemaking from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) along with questions relating to the potential rescheduling from the Department of Justice. 

What’s important to know now is, we have some key dates to pay attention to and that (as of this writing) cannabis is still regarded as being a schedule I substance. There will be a 60-day public comment period following the publication of the DEA’s rules in the federal register. There is the possibility for requests for a public hearing on rescheduling which must be filed within 30-days after the rulemaking federal register filing. We do anticipate there to be a public hearing for this, given the, as Biden said, monumental shift in federal policy on cannabis.


A Step in the Right Direction

While many of us in the industry were hoping for a full descheduling of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, which would put cannabis on par with alcohol, the rescheduling push is still a step in the right direction in our eyes as it will pave the way for easier banking and investment, transportation and distribution options across state lines, and more. 

Now is the time to explore the world of cannabis, as a business owner, investor, executive, or customer as big changes are coming.

Contact our consultants to discuss the implications of this reclassifying and how you can tap into the upcoming boom.

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