DEA May Reschedule Marijuana

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Photo via Flickr user US Marshall’s Office of Public Affairs

By Joan Eberhardt

 

DEA Might Reschedule Marijuana

By mid-year the Drug Enforcement Agency will decide whether or not to reschedule marijuana away from Schedule 1, the agency announced on Wednesday.

While rescheduling cannabis won’t legalize the plant, it will have strong ramifications for the legal cannabis market and research opportunities. Currently cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which puts it on par with heroin as a drug that has “no acceptable medical uses.” If the DEA decides to move cannabis down to a Schedule II drug, that would create greater opportunities for cannabis-related businesses to use banks, and would allow for research opportunities.

The agency sent a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and seven of her colleagues. Earlier this year she sent a letter to the DEA encouraging it to take another look at the classification to determine if it remains appropriate. The DEA, in its response Wednesday, gave no strong indication as to which way it would lean in its decisionmaking.

The DEA has twice looked into rescheduling cannabis, in 2001 and 2006, but that was before a plurality of states allowed for some degree of legal cannabis use.

 

UN Will Discuss Drugs on 4/20

For the first time in 20 years the United Nations will directly address global drug problems on the high holiday of marijuana.

The United National General Assembly Special Session will take place over 3 days from April 19-21 in New York. Global leaders will discuss substance abuse issues and trafficking concerns, as well as anti-trafficking treaties that have stood in the way of legal reforms. High level ministerial heads, medical experts, youth advocates and scientists will participate in this session, where the Obama administration is expected to actively push for reforms, rather than just to encourage them.

Plenary meetings will be livecast on the web, if watching high level government discussions is your thing.

 

CA Prison Turns into Cultivation Operation

An abandoned prison in Coalinga, California voted to repurpose an abandoned prison into a facility that cultivates and processing medical cannabis.

Ocean Grow Extracts presented the proposal, which would add 55 jobs to the local economy to the local City Council earlier this month. The council voted 4-1 to approve the plan. By placing the cultivation and processing center inside a prison, Ocean Grow will be able to ensure both that it will be a secure facility and be as undisruptive to the community as possible. (Y’know, like a prison is designed to be.)

The sale of the prison will help to cover the town’s $3.2 million budget deficit, and is expected to take up to six months to finalize. There are some local detractors, but as their concerns are largely without merit, we won’t discuss them here.

 

Quick Puffs

Bonus Video

Kannatopia CEO recently appeared on the inaugural Marijuana Minute, a new podcast where industry insiders discuss the marijuana industry. Take a listen!


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