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Marijuana Reclassification Unlikely to Change Anything for Federal Workers

Steps to change marijuana’s classification at the federal level in America have been initiated by both Congress and the Biden Administration in the last year. On his part, President Joseph Biden directed that a review of federal cannabis law be conducted, and he pardoned thousands who had been federally convicted of simple possession of cannabis.

Currently, marijuana is classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Substances under this classification are said to have no accepted medical use and high abuse potential. Other drugs under this classification include LSD, heroin, MDMA, methaqualone and mescaline (peyote).

Following a recommendation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is working toward moving marijuana to Schedule III. Drugs under Schedule III include anabolic steroids, testosterone and ketamine, which are allowed for medical use in some cases.

For the DEA to move forward, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget will need to review the decision. Once this is done, the Drug Enforcement Administration can collect feedback from the public then make its decision.

Ladera Ranch’s managing partner, Ryan Nerney, believes that rescheduling marijuana may affect pre-employment drug testing and screening of candidates applying for positions in the federal government. In a recent interview, Nerney explained that while previous use of cannabis wouldn’t equal to an automatic elimination from a job opportunity as other Schedule I substances have done, agencies would continue to maintain stern rules of cannabis use. He then noted that a history of cannabis use would still have a considerable effect on holders of security clearance.

Following the president’s directive, Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reintroduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The bill will remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. The bill’s other provisions also eliminate unnecessary random and pre-employment marijuana drug testing for federal employees. However, it will still allow drug testing for specific categories of federal employees in commercial transportation, law enforcement and national security.

The heads of federal agencies are currently directed by a 1980’s executive order issued under the Reagan administration to implement drug-testing programs for employees of the federal government. A staff member in Wyden’s office confirmed that the provisions affecting employees of the federal government are present in the measure.

In a recent press conference, Schumer revealed that the measure would expunge criminal records of individuals with low-level cannabis offenses, which prevent them from getting ahead in life.

The changing regulatory landscape at the federal level is likely to create market opportunities for entities such as Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) if they position themselves appropriately to leverage the evolving market conditions.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ASTC

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