Earlier this month, President Joe Biden called on the Attorney General and the Department of Health and Human Services to review marijuana scheduling in the Controlled Substances Act. This move could drastically change how the US government treats cannabis and promote the growth of the state-regulated industry.
In a statement, Biden expressed that the law classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance of the Controlled Substances Act, along with incredibly more pernicious drugs like heroin and LSD. He continued to say how the law considers it even more dangerous than fentanyl and methamphetamine, which are the principal causes of the overdose pandemic in the country.
President Biden also pardoned thousands of people convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law. Similarly, he urged state governors to follow suit with marijuana-possession offenses at the state level. These statements come at a time when efforts to decriminalize cannabis on a federal level are at a standstill.
Experts and industry leaders in the marijuana sector were quick to voice their thoughts on the President’s statements. Aaron Smith, the co-founder of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said that the news from the President was remarkable. Smith iterated on the importance of harmonizing state and federal laws to eradicate illicit markets, which have wreaked havoc on the legal weed industry.
Similarly, other stakeholders have come out to show their support for President Biden’s decree. Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, also endorsed the President’s statements. She urged Biden to go further and remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act entirely.
In a statement, Frederique said that descheduling cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act would be more effective than initiating processes that could later be reversed. Consequently, removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act is the only way to harmonize marijuana laws successfully.
The Minority Cannabis Business Association also showed gratitude to President Biden through a tweet. The organization explained that no one should be in jail for cannabis and expressed that this is the first step towards righting the decades of wrongs perpetrated on minority communities.
Khadijah Tribble, the US Cannabis Council CEO, also commended
the President’s initiative, which many believe is long overdue. Tribble also urged the Senate to pass the SAFE Banking Act, which would ensure that people who have been most impacted by marijuana prohibition could actively participate in the burgeoning cannabis industry.
The SAFE Banking Act will help afflicted communities get a hand in marijuana businesses, from cultivation to retailing marijuana accessories. We’re yet to see how President Biden’s decree will impact the marijuana industry. The initiative has given the sector hope for the federal reform of cannabis.