After about 50 years of legally sanctioned prohibition in the United States, marijuana has reached a pivotal moment that could rewrite the industry as it currently stands. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden directed the relevant federal agencies to conduct an exhaustive review into the scheduling of cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act. That directive has set in motion a process that could end in one of an endless list of possible outcomes, and only the most foolhardy of “analysts” can authoritatively predict what the outcome will be.
For example, the review process could recommend a continuation of the status quo, that is, marijuana remains in Schedule 1 of the CSA. However, as the president himself commented, this doesn’t make sense. For instance, there is no currently documented lethal dose of marijuana because no fatality can at the moment be linked to an overconsumption of marijuana.
However, the very categorization of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug means that there will be a big mountain to climb for marijuana to be removed from this strictest categorization because cannabis research is in its relative infancy. In the highly likely event that it is removed, the big question would be: Where does it go? Schedule 2, also highly restricted but with the proviso that substances in this group can be used under medical supervision, would be the worst possible review process outcome for marijuana.
This is because any marijuana product that is sanctioned to go to market would have to pass the rigorous FDA approval process, and then it wouldn’t be sold for recreational use because Schedule 2 drugs are medicines that can only be accessed by prescription. In short, this would be like a death blow to the legal marijuana industry as we currently know it.
There are six schedules in the CSA, and the ideal outcome for the marijuana industry would be for the substance not to appear in any of those categories. The reason for this is because a measure of FDA oversight is mandated in each category, and FDA processes aren’t exactly what the medical or marijuana industries are built for. The desired tax relief can come via putting marijuana in Schedules 3 or 4, but that would be little comfort because at those levels, products would only be available under doctors’ orders.
The best scenario is for Congress to pass a law decriminalizing marijuana and granting states permission to decide for themselves how to regulate this now federally decriminalized substance. Such a law can render null and void any policy change resulting from the review process triggered by Biden’s orders.
As things stand, there is no telling where this review process will lead, and Biden may have unknowingly kick-started a process that could accelerate the path to marijuana legalization or make life for the existing auxiliary industry players such as REZYFi Inc. harder as more onerous federal rules affecting how companies serving the marijuana industry are required to report their dealings to federal regulators.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our 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. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. 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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