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Is federal rescheduling on the horizon? DEA studies the medical benefits of cannabis

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Although cannabis is a flourishing industry in America’s 10 recreational states, it’s still banned at the federal level. Marijuana’s Schedule 1 status has led to a host of problematic and conflicting laws, which often put cannabis businesses at odds with federal regulations. 

The best way to eliminate the friction between federal and state laws is to remove cannabis’s Schedule 1 status. Cannabis advocates have fought for this for decades because it would essentially legalize cannabis at the federal level. Removing cannabis from the Schedule 1 list would also:

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is in charge of scheduling substances. Multiple organizations and parties have petitioned the DEA to reschedule marijuana, but it’s always maintained a strong stance against it. 

Although the DEA appears to still be very much anti-cannabis, there is hope. For 2020, the DEA has ordered 7,000 pounds of cannabis for study. This is a 30% increase over the amount ordered for 2019, which is promising. 

The goal is to use this cannabis for medical and scientific research. So why the increase? 

The DEA says it needs to study cannabis more fully because more and more researchers have registered to study THC. With a greater demand of lab-grade cannabis, the DEA increased quantities. 

But there’s a problem. The DEA has been growing its cannabis at the University of Mississippi. Cannabis experts know that you can’t grow quality cannabis in hot, dry places like Mississippi. The cannabis quality was far too low to make meaningful scientific discoveries, so the DEA has registered better growers for its lab-quality cannabis. 

With more states legalizing recreational marijuana, the DEA, FDA, and National Institutes of Health hope to compare the DEA-approved cannabis with cannabis from legal states. 

This increase in production comes as the New York Second Circuit of Appeals mandated the DEA to reconsider cannabis’s Schedule 1 status. Time will tell if the DEA will take this into consideration. While it may take time to reschedule marijuana, chances are, it will happen. It’s a matter of when.  

 

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