In this Cannabis Exclusive episode, we delve into the intricate process of rescheduling cannabis following the HHS recommendation in August. Eric Berlin and Rob Sechrist from Dentons join host Shadd Dales to talk about some of the facts about rescheduling, including the roles of the FDA and DEA, and how they contribute.
We’ve explored some of the ways rescheduling could have a large impact on cannabis companies individually and the industry at large. These would involve things from potentially encouraging SAFE Banking legislation to pass, to exempting them from 280e, even to things like advertising. But how will it fundamentally impact the business plans of MSOs? Eric and Rob have some thoughts.
The FDA recommends rescheduling cannabis to a lower schedule, owing to its therapeutic uses and lower risk profile. However, the DEA must still conduct its own five-part evaluation before any rescheduling can occur. It won’t be an instantaneous process. The DEA would have to issue a proposed rule and invite public input and concerns during a comment period. It could be requested that they grant a hearing.
The whole journey, from comment period to implementation, might span months to even a couple of years. External political landscape and factors could and most likely will also play a part; there’s speculation that the timing of the rescheduling process may be influenced by the upcoming presidential election.
However, despite bureaucratic hoops that must be gone through, both Rob and Eric express confidence that cannabis will likely be rescheduled to Schedule III. It’s a fact that rescheduling will align cannabis with existing laws, opening doors for increased medical research and access for users. It’s a significant change for the FDA to even propose Schedule III – and though it doesn’t address any of the social justice and equity issues, it could be as good as the agency could get, Eric acknowledges.
Join us in this eye-opening interview to gain a deeper understanding of the potential shifts in cannabis regulations and what lies ahead.