In a statement made to The Cannabist on August 2, 2016, DEA Agent Russ Baer said that the DEA was closer than they were a month ago in making a decision with regards to rescheduling. Earlier this year, the DEA issued a statement that they wished to have decision on rescheduling made by the first half of the year. No decision was made. The marijuana industry anxiously awaits a decision by the DEA as rescheduling marijuana from a schedule I drug to a II or III drug will have an immediate and enormous impact on the marijuana industry.
Rescheduling marijuana to a schedule II drug will allow research and development like other schedule II drugs such as morphine, methamphetamines and oxycodone. It would also allow doctors to write prescriptions for marijuana instead of just issuing recommendations. Doctors could treat marijuana like any other schedule II drugs and not be in fear of federal prosecution. Depending on the rescheduling or de-scheduling (doubtful but the ideal outcome), the marijuana industry could get relief from the outrageous Federal tax imposed by Section 280E of the IRS code. (See my previous blog for greater detail). Rescheduling could also open interstate commerce of marijuana.
The downside, depending on what scheduling marijuana is placed into, is that marijuana could be subject to greater regulation by the government including FDA requirements for pharmaceuticals and other like drugs. The cost of complying with those regulations could be incredible prohibitive and detrimental to existing marijuana business. Big pharma companies could benefit as they can afford the costs of greater regulation.
Rescheduling could also force some states to scramble to change their laws to reflect whatever new schedule marijuana is placed into. In Pennsylvania, a decision will undoubtedly impact the regulations currently being drawn up by the Department of Health under Pennsylvania’s newly enacted Medical Marijuana Act.
In other words, the decision to reschedule marijuana is a game changer and everyone awaits the DEA final word.
Published by Jorge Pereira, Esq.
I was born in Portugal and raised in Bethlehem after immigrating with his family to the Lehigh Valley at the age of 2.
I attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick graduating with B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Psychology. After graduating with honors from Rutgers University, I attended Rutgers-Newark Law School. While at Rutgers-Newark Law School, I was part of Appellate Moot Court, Urban Legal Clinic and the Animal Rights Clinic.
Upon graduating Rutgers-Newark Law School Law, I initially practiced at a small boutique law firm in Newark, New Jersey but always maintained a desire to return to his home in the Lehigh Valley. I spent the last eighteen years working in civil litigation and personal injury law firms in the Lehigh Valley. For the last sixteen years, I has worked at an Allentown law firm, The Law of Business, P.C. f/k/a Douglas M. Marinos & Associates, P.C. focusing on business divorce, corporate law, creditor’s rights and general civil litigation.
I am a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars and admitted to practice in the United States District Court of Pennsylvania for the Eastern District and the United States District Court of New Jersey. I have litigated cases throughout the Courts of Common Pleas of Eastern Pennsylvania from Susquehanna County to Philadelphia County and represented both debtors and creditors in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Middle District of Pennsylvania. As counsel for Sovereign Bank, I wrote the appellate brief in the precedent setting decision in the matter of Sovereign Bank v. Schwab, 414 F.3d 450 (3rd Cir. 2005).
I am an avid cigar smoker and a founding member, board member and former officer of the Lehigh Valley Cigar Club, a non-profit social club with over 200 members dedicated to protecting and promoting the enjoyment of cigar smoking in the Lehigh Valley.I played Rugby for ten years on the men’s team of the Lehigh Valley Rugby Football Club, becoming a captain of the men’s team, and President of the club. I own a commercial building in the historical district of Main Street, Bethlehem where my business partner and I own a hair salon, Hair Studio Main.
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