In 2022, in October, President Biden will pardon all previous federal offenses related to marijuana possession. He asked state governors to do the same, and directed HHS and Attorney General conduct a review on how marijuana is classified under federal law. Biden stated that sending people to prison just for having marijuana had ruined too many lives.
The DEA has the final say
in how marijuana is scheduled and does not have to abide by HHS’s recommendation. The DEA ultimately has the
in how marijuana is scheduled and is not required to abide by HHS’s recommendation.
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug
under the Controlled Substance Act, meaning its considered to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
HHS has not confirmed its recommendations, but Bloomberg reports the agency advised that marijuana be moved down to Schedule III
, for drugs that have “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.”
David Culver, senior vice president of public affairs for the U.S. Cannabis Council, which supports marijuana legalization at the state and federal level, said rescheduling marijuana would have a significant impact on the growing cannabis industry
Because marijuana is a Schedule I drug, businesses that sell it are prohibited from taking traditional business deductions
Culver stated that “by moving to Schedule III, the industry would be able to reduce their effective tax rates considerably.” Many of the companies pay an average of 70 to 75 percent. This would allow them reduce their tax rate to the more standardized tax rate.”
Culver, who did not have direct knowledge of the DEA’s decision, speculated that it could be made as early as , the end of 2024
. He noted how the agency’s administrative process normally takes six to twelve months.