U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Recommends Cannabis Rescheduling

In a significant development, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recommended in a document addressed to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that cannabis be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III under the federal Controlled Substances Act. This historic shift signifies that the top US health agency no longer views cannabis as a substance with “high abuse potential” and having “no medical value.” If the HHS’s position is adopted, it could have significant impacts on cannabis business entrepreneurs and owners. On the surface, there are some obvious opportunities for operators, including benefits relating to interstate commerce and lower federal taxation barriers. But as lawyers we are trained to look at the entire picture, and we need to determine whether there are any other impacts in how current states’ cannabis markets are run. We are monitoring these federal actions as they develop, as well as carefully reviewing how this might affect operating within this industry. We look forward to being able to provide you with updates and additional guidance as the process unfolds.

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