As many of you know, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently recommended rescheduling marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under federal law.
The DEA has the final say here but a review of healthcare news shows that most commentators believe that the DEA will follow the recommendation and will start the rescheduling process, which involves a notice and comment period (so it will not happen any time soon).
What happens if marijuana is rescheduled? I haven’t considered all the implications involved until I came across an article by Harris Bicken “Marijuana as Schedule III: Woe is Me?” I encourage you to read it if you are interested in the topic as it covers such aspects as collision between state and federal laws, complicated tax and regulatory compliance, possible battles for cannabis drug development domination, etc. It is an excellent read and an eye opener on some of the issues.
Rescheduling also does not necessarily mean that doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana products. It appears that the biggest advantage of rescheduling is the ability to do research using marijuana products. Researching Schedule I drugs is virtually impossible but moving marijuana into Schedule III will open doors for many drug manufacturers, universities, and research facilities who wish to develop drugs containing cannabis.