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420 with CNW — FDA Boss Says DEA Doesn’t Have Reason to Delay Cannabis Rescheduling

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director Robert Califf noted before a House committee on April 11, 2024, that there is no justification for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to postpone making the much-anticipated decision to move cannabis from Schedule I to III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

However, Califf suggested that the DEA might treat recreational cannabis differently from medical cannabis, a move that could significantly impact the American marijuana industry. Analysts have speculated on the implications of such a potential distinction, noting that it might result in tax advantages for medical cannabis enterprises over recreational ones.

Califf’s remarks were made during a comprehensive hearing convened by Representative James Comer (R), who chairs the Oversight and Accountability House Committee. Comer raised concerns about the FDA’s oversight of new tobacco products used for nicotine vaporization and its reluctance to regulate products derived from hemp, such as CBD. In response to Comer’s criticisms, Califf shifted the responsibility to Congress, asserting that the current regulatory frameworks are inadequate for CBD and advocating for the establishment of new regulatory measures.

Califf’s discussion on the potential reclassification of cannabis was prompted by a query from Representative Nancy Mace (R), a prominent advocate for cannabis reform. Mace sought updates on the DEA’s assessment of the FDA’s findings from last year, which acknowledged the medicinal value of marijuana and recommended its reclassification to Schedule III.

Califf refrained from providing specific details, noting that he wouldn’t tell even if he knew. However, he emphasized the absence of justification for any delay on the part of the DEA, stressing the need for consideration of existing regulations. He also emphasized the importance of congressional guidance in navigating the cannabis regulation issue.

Drawing a line between recreational and medical cannabis, Califf highlighted the distinction between their respective purposes and routes of validation. While acknowledging the medical benefits of cannabis when used for therapeutic purposes, he cast doubt on its utility for recreational use, suggesting that it lacks medicinal value in such contexts. It remains unclear whether Califf’s insights will affect how the DEA makes a decision.

According to a DEA official, the agency typically takes up to six months to evaluate recommendations from health authorities regarding scheduling changes. This timeframe aligns with the duration since the current assessment of cannabis began. These discussions occurred amid the Biden administration’s efforts to promote marijuana pardons and oversee the cannabis scheduling review.

The entire marijuana industry, including leading companies such as TerrAscend Corp. (TSX: TSND) (OTCQX: TSNDF), will be waiting with bated breath to know what final decision the DEA makes regarding the rescheduling of marijuana under the CSA and the resultant implications for the trajectory of the industry.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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