In a move that could have a significant impact on the cannabis industry, the U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has already begun working with the FDA to review cannabis’ federal scheduling status. This review was directed by President Biden during his pardoning announcement last week.
The scheduling status of cannabis is critical for the industry, as it determines how much restrictions are placed on research and development, as well as commercial activity. If cannabis is rescheduled from its current Schedule I classification, it would be a major victory for the industry and could open up a number of new opportunities.
Cannabis is still a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, despite the many successful medical cannabis programs throughout the U.S. and the fact that nineteen states have legalized adult-use cannabis. Additionally, five more states are set to vote on the issue this November. Cannabis is considered a Schedule I substance because it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” However, many people believe that this classification is outdated and that cannabis should be reclassified.
A recent poll found that 60% of U.S. voters support the federal legalization of adult-use cannabis. This is a large increase from the previous numbers, which showed that only around 45% of voters supported legalization. The poll also found that there is bipartisan support for legalization, with over 70% of democrats and nearly 60% of republicans supporting it. This increasing level of support may be due to the growing number of states that have legalized cannabis in some form, as well as the positive effects that legalization has had on those states.