Marijuana rescheduling could be weeks away, insider suggests
The long-awaited DEA cannabis rescheduling ruling may be coming soon, according to information from a connected insider. Green Market Report shared news from insider Adam Goers, co-chair of the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform. Basically, Goers “wouldn’t be surprised” if cannabis was rescheduled by the end of March.
President Biden issued a statement in October 2022 that kicked off the process of rescheduling, calling for an administrative process review on cannabis from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS review came back with a recommendation to move the plant from Schedule I alongside heroin to Schedule III with Tylenol with codeine. The HHS recommendation came at the turn of 2023, lobbing the ball into the DEA’s court.
Those interested have been waiting with bated breath since the HHS recommendation with no movement from the DEA–perhaps until now.
“If the DEA were to come back with anything other than what the FDA’s recommendation would be, I think there would be a certain instruction to go back and get working on it again. That’s definitely been the attitude we’ve heard out of the administration,” Goers told journalist John Shroyer.
Original GMR reporting indicates that though nothing is certain, all signs point to rescheduling in February–March at the latest. A DEA recommendation wouldn’t mean automatic rescheduling; it would just be another step toward release from Schedule 1.
A 60-day comment period would follow a rescheduling rule from the DEA. The comment period may open litigation, which could delay the process further. That’s why the current administration may pressure the agency to act sooner rather than later.
A national poll conducted by Lake Survey Group and the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform had interesting results. Approval for President Biden goes up 11 points when hearing the details of rescheduling reform. Still, not everyone supports the move. Most recently, U.S. Representative Andy Harris railed against the decision to reschedule in a letter to the DEA shared by FOX News.
SCOOP: @RepAndyHarrisMD is issuing this letter to the DEA criticizing HHS and the FDA's recommendation to reclassify Marijuana as a Schedule III drug.
Rep. Harris claims the FDA "ignored several key factors" in its review.
"The recommendation did not sufficiently examine the… pic.twitter.com/VFqmLQxXR1
— Ryan Schmelz (@RyanSchmelzFOX) January 31, 2024
The Congressman cites the 2016 FDA review and counters the review issued in January 2024 in the letter, which asks for answers to six questions about the scheduling. A few questions ask for proof that rescheduling wouldn’t violate the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which distinctly names cannabis as a prohibited substance.
On the other side, a group of governors sent a letter to President Biden in December urging him to reschedule the plant and bypass debate. Another push forward comes from Representative David Joyce, who introduced the STATES 2.0 Act, which would effectively decriminalize cannabis.
Despite the contention, it’s probable the DEA recommends Schedule III before the tulips flower. This opens the door to more voices of objection, but also a chorus of support. Though not all are on board for rescheduling, it seems the boulder is already rolling.