National Cannabis Roundtable Applauds ‘Historic’ HHS Recommendation To Reschedule Cannabis

The National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) has praised the recent release of documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the federal classification of cannabis. The documents acknowledge that cannabis should be reclassified from a Schedule I to Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

This development comes after President Biden’s directive in October 2022 for federal agencies to review the appropriateness of cannabis being classified in the most restrictive schedule. The NCR, an alliance of cannabis companies, has been actively advocating for and informing the HHS and the DEA about the scientific facts and medical value of cannabis, supporting its reclassification to at least Schedule III.

Saphira Galoob, the executive director of the NCR, emphasized the significance of a federal agency publicly acknowledging the inappropriate classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance. She also highlighted the abundance of research and scientific evidence utilized by HHS and the FDA to make this historic recommendation.

The NCR expressed gratitude towards President Biden for initiating the federal review and praised the HHS and the FDA for their thorough and timely work. Galoob acknowledged the harm caused by decades of federal prohibition, including the persecution of individuals and communities during the War on Drugs. She hopes to see the DEA and DOJ swiftly initiate formal rulemaking in line with the HHS Schedule III recommendation, as many states have already done.

Moving cannabis to Schedule III would allow for additional critical medical research and treat state-legal cannabis businesses more equitably under federal tax law. The NCR believes that without the extreme tax burdens caused by IRS tax code 280E, the regulated cannabis industry will be better equipped to combat the threats posed by the illicit market and reinvest in their workforces and communities.

The NCR looks forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congress to advance meaningful federal cannabis reform. Their goals include protecting consumers, promoting social equity, addressing past injustices, fostering economic growth, and supporting existing regulated state markets.

In conclusion, the release of documents from the HHS that recommend reclassifying cannabis to Schedule III is a significant step towards federal cannabis reform. The NCR’s advocacy and the scientific evidence presented have played a crucial role in this development. Moving forward, it is hoped that the DEA and DOJ will take swift action to align with the HHS recommendation, leading to positive changes in cannabis policy at the federal level.

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