What Does Cannabis Rescheduling Mean For You

What Does Cannabis Rescheduling Mean For You

There could be some huge changes coming to the US cannabis industry, if the US Department of Health and Human Services gets its way. A letter written by the HHS to the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, was confirmed last week to provide the DEA with the HHS’s recommendation that cannabis be rescheduled from a schedule I to a schedule III controlled substance. This is huge news, and will have an enormous impact on the entire industry, so let’s dig in to find out what the rescheduling of cannabis means for you.

Key Takeaways:

Cannabis rescheduling could mean:

1. Lower prices for consumers

2. Easier access for consumers

3. More profit for cannabis businesses

4. More investment in product development (with less money going to taxes)

5. More research and development with new status

6. Makes the road to federal legalization much easier

What does it mean to be rescheduled?

Scheduling, when it comes to the DEA, are the classifications by which drugs, substances and certain chemicals are organized according to several factors including the drug’s acceptable medical use and its potential for abuse or dependence. When a substance is rescheduled, it is moved from one category to a different category, changing the way it is accessed and regulated. 

What is cannabis’s current scheduling and what would its new scheduling be?

Currently, cannabis is categorized as a schedule I drug, which means it has no accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. Besides cannabis, other drugs in this category include acid, LSD, ecstasy and peyote. The HHS has recommended that the DEA recategorize, or reschedule, cannabis from a schedule I to a schedule III controlled substance. Schedule III drugs have a “moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependance,” according to the DEA. The category currently includes drugs like codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone.  

How will rescheduling affect cannabis business?

Rescheduling will have an enormous impact on cannabis business in legal states. Currently, most cannabis businesses are operating with a razor thin margin of profit, if they’re making any profit at all. Because of cannabis’s federal scheduling, the legal cannabis industry is taxed nearly to death. On top of sky high taxes, cannabis businesses are taxed based on their gross profit, and aren’t allowed to deduct business expenses the way other industries are, making the cost of operating a cannabis business unrealistically high. The fact is that the current scheduling of cannabis has the legal market in a chokehold. But rescheduling could change all that, lowering taxes and freeing up tons of money for product development and cannabis outreach to help educate the public about safe use and the potential benefits of cannabis. 

With more profit, cannabis companies can also invest more in employees, paying them a livable age and investing in their cannabis education. Idually, it would be great if everyone who worked at the cannabis club were knowledgeable on all the different products, strains and effects but many of them are limited by a lack of education beyond personal experience. Rescheduling could free up the budget to formally educate bud tenders, making them beacons of reputable information, rather than stoners who know what’s dankest.

How will rescheduling shift the culture of cannabis? 

The growing legion of states who have already legalized cannabis may make it easier for federal legalization, especially as Medical Marijuan Laws and Recreation Marijuana Laws continue to be successfully rolled out and enforced around the country. If cannabis is rescheduled, which many cannabis advocates are optimistic about, there will likely be a shift around cannabis as a whole in the United States. “Historically, the DEA has never overridden a HHS recommendation,” says Shane Pennington, a Washington D.C. lawyer who specializes in cannabis law. Rescheduling could help those who are nervous or misinformed about cannabis to be more comfortable trying it for the first time, increasing access on a national level.

More Research into Cannabis

Rescheduling will also allow for more widespread and thorough research into the potential health benefits and medical applications of cannabis. Most cannabis consumers are already well aware of the benefits associated with cannabis use, and after cannabis is rescheduled, we’ll finally have the research to support our claims. Cannabis research has the potential to save lives and it’s about time that researchers and scientists be allowed to conduct serious long term studies on the effects and benefits of cannabis.

How does rescheduling affect consumers?

Rescheduling will most definitely have a trickle down effect for consumers as well, allowing them to reap the benefits of lower prices, easier access and more scientific evidence of how cannabis can help them. Once rescheduling is complete, there will be more and better products on the shelf, and less of your hard earned money will go towards the disturbingly high taxes cannabis consumers are unfairly forced to pay. Most likely there will also be better trained bud tenders, who can really help you find the experience you’re looking for, making for a better, more enjoyable cannabis experience overall, especially if you don’t have to waste time and money trying a bunch of different products. It will likely also mean that cannabis consumers will face less backlash from friends, family and employers, who often make it abundantly clear when they disapprove of cannabis use. 

Cannabis rescheduling is a big deal, and despite the DEA declining to reschedule under three different administrations, many are still hopeful that the changes the cannabis industry desperately needs will happen soon, especially with the vocal support of The Department of Health and Human Services. Cannabis rescheduling means the entire industry will be allowed to thrive, rather than just barely survive. It means that the medical benefits of cannabis will finally be fully explored and that more people who rely on cannabis will be able to access it; It means lower prices and better selection for consumers, and hopefully in the near future it will mean full federal legalization. 

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