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Gauging the Impact of the DEA’s Move to Reclassify Marijuana

Industry leaders see a paradigm shift with the historic recommendation

The recent historic decision by the DEA to recommend moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III has profound implications. Although the proposal must be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, and then undergo a public-comment period and review from an administrative judge -- a potentially lengthy process -- many leaders consider the decision “a paradigm shift”.


The reclassification of cannabis breaks away from 54 years of being categorized among the most dangerous drugs like heroin and opioids. Once marijuana is reclassified as a Schedule Three drug, it puts it on par with drugs with a moderate to low abuse potential, such as anabolic steroids, testosterone, and over-the-counter pain relievers.


From a business perspective, reclassification opens doors for cannabis enterprises to benefit from federal tax credits previously unavailable to them and makes funding accessible for federal research on marijuana. With legalization being approved in more and more states, it’s a step closer to Congress passing comprehensive legislation for fully legalizing marijuana.


“It’s going to be harder for companies to deter marijuana use,” says Nina French, president of Inflection Point Consulting Group, a think tank with extensive experience in Drug and Alcohol testing. “Leaders would be well-served to get ahead of this by updating their testing practices”.


Further information on reclassification and how to address it in the workplace:


·        What marijuana reclassification means for the United States

·        How to navigate the increasing use of marijuana on and off the job

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