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Prohibitionist Group Says DEA Announcement on Cannabis Rescheduling Coming “Very Soon”

Smart Approaches to Marijuana leaders believe the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may soon make an announcement on marijuana rescheduling. The DEA has spent the last few months chewing over a recommendation made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) to move marijuana to Schedule III from its current classification.

Now officials of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), led by president Kevin Sabet, believe the agency will announce its results soon, following chatter from different sources. This has been heard for some months now, with sources mostly leaning toward pro-reform.

In the interview, Sabet also revealed that he was skeptical about the revised FDA review process on drug scheduling. This has been reiterated by a number of Republican legislators. This is in addition to discussing prior scheduling petitions that took years to conclude, only for the federal government to deny proposals to recategorize cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act.

In this case, however, the scheduling review was issued as a directive by President Joseph Biden himself.

Additionally, one DEA official recently stated that at times, it took up to six months for the agency to conclude an analysis of recommendations given by health officials. As it stands, this is less than the amount of time it has been since the DEA started its current evaluation of marijuana’s scheduling.

The prohibition group has long been against cannabis reform and has worked with Republican legislators to discourage the agency from rescheduling the drug. Additionally, SAM has urged its supporters to talk to their representatives in congress about opposing cannabis banking reforms, rescheduling and proposals to legalize the drug.

A week ago, a caucus of 21 congressional legislators asked that the DEA remove cannabis from its current classification and recognized that the DEA could be dealing with disagreements on the issue at an internal scale. This point references a recent report, which noted that officials at the agency were at loggerheads with the current administration over the scheduling review. Thus far, the agency has offered no on-the-record comment about the status of the review, with the White House also declining to give a statement on the timeline.

In other news, the FDA’s head stated that there was no reason for the Drug Enforcement Administration to “put off” making a decision on cannabis scheduling. In March, HSS secretary Xavier Becerra defended the recommendation made by his department during a committee hearing at the senate. In his statement, Becerra told one marijuana lobbyist that he needed to pay the Drug Enforcement Administration a visit and ask officials about the timing of the decision.

The entire marijuana industry, including major players such as Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF), eagerly awaits the DEA’s announcement of its decision on the classification of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. The comment period that will follow is likely to uncover more information about what the industry thinks of the decision that the federal agency will have made.

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