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A New Era for Cannabis: DEA Moves to Reschedule Marijuana

A New Era for Cannabis: DEA Moves to Reschedule Marijuana

Alan Cruz

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has made a groundbreaking decision to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule III substance. This signals a pivotal moment in federal policy, seeing as Schedule III substances are considered to have a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. 

This drastic change also suggests a new federal stance on cannabis's perceived dangers and medicinal benefits, yielding responses from both sides of the discussion. However, it can also open up new horizons for research and new medical applications. 

Read below to get a glimpse into how the pro- and anti-cannabis advocates are responding to this change and explore how the DEA’s decision carries promise for further research into marijuana’s medicinal properties.

How People Are Responding

While advocates for marijuana use are expectedly excited, other disapproving parties are seeing a lack of regulation, oversight, and action. Here’s how we’ve noticed the public is reacting, starting with THC lovers.

Cannabis Advocates

Cannabis advocates are celebrating the DEA’s decision as a victory for cannabis reform. After all, this reclassification could pave the way for more states to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. Advocates argue that this shift acknowledges the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, which has been shown to potentially support conditions like chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD.

Anti-THC Parties

On the other hand, anti-THC parties express concern, emphasizing the need for regulation and oversight. They worry that rescheduling marijuana may lead to increased accessibility and potential abuse, calling for robust educational campaigns and further research into the long-term effects of THC consumption.

Implications for Cannabis Research and Science

The reclassification of marijuana to Schedule III can also open up new avenues for its medicinal benefits, serving to progress current research.

This shift acknowledges the therapeutic potential of cannabis, which could lead to new treatments for a variety of physical and mental health conditions. With the DEA’s decision, researchers will have greater opportunities to study cannabis under less stringent federal regulations, fostering more extensive exploration and leniency in scientific inquiry.

The move to Schedule III is poised to drastically transform the legal cannabis industry. It could drive market stability and reduce business risk, as cannabis businesses would be able to claim federal tax deductions, which are currently prohibited under IRS code 280E.

This shift could also soften the risk environment for cannabis businesses, potentially lowering costs from real estate to banking. The reclassification could also prompt more states to further legalize cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally.

Cannabis Stocks Rise In Response

Interestingly enough, cannabis stocks saw major gains in the days following the DEA’s rescheduling decision. CNBC reports that Trulieve spiked nearly 30% as a result, and Curaleaf saw a 19% increase — marking a new 52-week high. MarketWatch has also reported increases of over 25% for TerrAscend, more than 22% for Green Thumbs Industries Inc., and about 14% for Cresco Labs Inc.

Looking Ahead

The future of cannabis policy is now at a pivotal juncture. The DEA’s decision may influence further research into cannabis, potentially unlocking new medical treatments — and economically, the cannabis industry could see significant growth, creating jobs and generating tax revenue.

Still, the conversation around cannabis is far from over. As society balances the benefits against the risks, only time will tell how much further the approval of cannabis and THC will progress.

Alan Cruz

Alan Cruz

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