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  • Writer's pictureCourtney N. Moran, LL.M.

The World of Cannabis is on the Horizon of Monumental Change! DEA Proposes to Reschedule Cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III!

DEA Proposes to the White House to Reschedule Cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III!

The World of Cannabis is on the Horizon of Monumental Change!

Breaking News-DEA Proposes to the White House to Reschedule Cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III!

When I started my career in 2010 interning for National NORML in Washington D.C., I did not know at that time if I would see cannabis legalization in my lifetime. Just two years later in 2012, the world saw Colorado and Washington legalize adult-use cannabis, in contravention of U.S. federal law. State-by-state laws have changed for both marijuana and hemp. The fear and misinformation spread over the last century around Cannabis are slowly being transformed into opportunity, as stakeholders and thought leaders fight their way to achieve policy reform to reestablish freedom for this magical plant.  Today, we see historic progress on the federal level with the DEA's proposal. While not de-scheduling or legalization, which is needed to protect businesses and consumers alike, rescheduling is a positive step forward.     

“[W]hile a move to Schedule III would be a meaningful improvement, the only way to remedy the most concerning consequences of marijuana prohibition is to deschedule marijuana altogether.” ~Senator Elizabeth Warren, (April 24, 2024)

Lawmakers and interested parties have pressured the DEA to make this decision or go further with a full descheduling action. This momentous news comes just one week after 21 Senators and Members of Congress wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram urging DOJ and DEA to act and “promptly remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)” and 8 months after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation that “marijuana, referring to botanical cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) that is within the definition “marihuana” or” marijuana” in the CSA, be controlled in Schedule III of the CSA.”

Once the White House Office of Budget Management signs off, DEA is expected to go into formal rulemaking with a public comment period and additional review by an administrative judge before publishing the final rule.

One less brick in the wall!

While stakeholders are split on the impacts and potential unintended consequences this scheduling action may result in, it does provide an opportune time to pause and reflect on the positive progress the Medical Cannabis, Adult-Use Cannabis, and Hemp industries have achieved in the last decade. 

“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” ~ President Ronald Reagan, a leader in progressing the devastating War on Drugs.

At last, the barrier he helped erect is starting to fall.

What will the final rule entail? What impacts will this have on cannabis businesses?

What impacts will this have on hemp businesses selling intoxicating products?

This public comment period is a critical and historic time for all interested parties to have their voices heard on the reforms.

The AgHS Team stands ready to represent you and your business in this exciting time! Connect with us at 202-656-7023.

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