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Biden administration considers downgrading marijuana classification

Biden administration considers downgrading marijuana classification

"Marijuana Classification"

The Biden Administration looks set to shake up U.S. drug policy significantly. It recently floated plans to downgrade marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

This change reflects the wave of acceptance that marijuana – for both medical and recreational use – has been riding across the nation. The reclassification will enable comprehensive studies on the drug’s effects, potentially boosting our current understanding of marijuana greatly.

The move is likely to have substantial legal impacts too, particularly in the realm of penalties for use and possession. It promises to catalyze economic growth in the legal cannabis industry, offering fresh opportunities for investment and business creation.

Relocating cannabis to Schedule III could generate substantial federal tax deductions for businesses in the industry, benefitting their financial sustainability and growth. Present tax laws deny such advantages to firms dealing with Schedule I or II substances.

Despite the optimism, experts, including cannabis retailer Green Theory and Vanderbilt University’s Robert Mikos, urge caution.

Biden’s plan to reclassify marijuana: implications and uncertainties

They point to the uncertainty of future regulatory changes, which could risk businesses investing in the sector.

Opinions in the industry are divided. Some argue the benefits of this change outweigh the possible regulatory uncertainties, viewing it as a significant stride towards ending cannabis stigma and integrating it into mainstream commerce. Some others focus on the potential economic benefits and job creation.

Yet, experts comment that moving marijuana to Schedule III may not substantially ease the stringent regulations of both the Controlled Substances Act and the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act limiting the cannabis industry currently. The change might not have the drastic impact advocates within the industry have hoped for or expected.

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Experts like the Deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Paul Armentano, believes the shift to “uncharted territory” may not yield significant advantages. He urges for specific safety measures to tackle challenges like limited access to credit and lack of bankruptcy protection.

In conclusion, for a marked upgrade in the cannabis industry, Armentano and Mikos stress that more than just a reclassification is needed. They highlight the need for further legislative measures, especially congressional actions, to push the cannabis sector towards meaningful progress and transformation.

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