top of page
blog-background-1.webp

Cannabis Rescheduling: The Unforeseen Impacts - May 2024

May of 2024 could mark the beginning of a significant change in the landscape of cannabis in the United States. After half a century of debates and controversy surrounding the placement of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, Attorney General Merrick Garland has submitted a rescheduling proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget. This move comes on the heels of the FDA's examination of cannabis classification, culminating in the conclusion that, in many ways, cannabis is safer than other drugs in the Schedule I category.


Over the past five decades, the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic has served as a barrier, complicating research efforts, limiting medical access, and perpetuating stigma. However, with the winds of change blowing, there is palpable anticipation that this reschedule could usher in new opportunities.


The acknowledgment by regulatory bodies like the FDA of cannabis's relative safety compared to other substances underscores the shifting perceptions surrounding cannabis use and its potential benefits. As public discourse continues to evolve, so too does the recognition of cannabis.


For advocates and cannabis fans, this news feels like a long-awaited victory. The prospect of cannabis rescheduling from Schedule I to Schedule III seems like a departure from outdated paradigms and a step towards aligning federal policies with evolving scientific understanding and societal attitudes. But this decision may carry some consequences not everybody is realizing at this moment.



Potential Economic Effects The economic ramification of rescheduling cannabis has various factors. Let's start with taxation. Reclassifying will lead to legalizing and regulating cannabis in states in which it is currently prohibited and would undoubtedly create a new revenue stream for governments through taxation on sales, cultivation, and distribution.   This imposition of taxes could pose big challenges for small businesses within the cannabis industry. While taxation is often viewed as a means to generate revenue for governments, it can significantly impact the operational costs and competitiveness of smaller enterprises.  For mom-and-pop retailers and local dispensaries, a further increase in taxation or regulation would increase overhead expenses, thereby reducing profit margins that are already nominal. This could create a barrier to entry or expansion for smaller players, making it difficult for them to compete with larger corporations, especially if it requires them to be a DEA-certified pharmacy to remain your dispensary of choice.  If taxation leads to increased prices for cannabis products, small businesses may struggle to retain customers who could opt for cheaper alternatives offered by larger corporations. This could result in a loss of market share and revenue for smaller enterprises, further exacerbating their challenges in competing with companies.  Impact on Cannabis Research Moving cannabis to Schedule III has the potential to make groundbreaking advancements in cannabis research. This transition would significantly reduce the administrative and regulatory obstacles researchers currently face when seeking approval to investigate its therapeutic applications. It could also accelerate research efforts and allow scientists to explore the potential medical advantages of cannabis more efficiently, without encountering unnecessary limitations.  With reduced bureaucratic barriers, scientists would be better positioned to explore the vast chemical diversity within the cannabis plant, potentially uncovering previously unknown cannabinoids with unique properties. These discoveries could open up new avenues for medical research as well, offering insights into the therapeutic potential of these compounds for treating various health conditions.  Cannabis Rescheduling Timeline The process of cannabis rescheduling involves several key steps: The DEA initiates the process by formally proposing the change through a notice published in the Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government. This notice typically includes a detailed rationale for the proposed reschedule, scientific evidence supporting the decision, and an invitation for public comment. During a designated public comment period, individuals, organizations, and industry representatives can submit feedback, concerns, or additional relevant information. Public comments play an important role in informing the DEA's decision-making process, providing valuable insights into the potential impacts and implications of the proposal. The DEA conducts a thorough review of the submitted comments, newly provided scientific research, and any other relevant data to inform its final decision on the reschedule. The DEA issues a final rule in the Federal Register announcing its decision. This final rule typically includes a detailed explanation of the rationale behind the decision, responses to public comments, and any additional regulatory requirements or changes resulting from the rescheduling.  It's important to know that the process of changing the classification of cannabis could take longer than expected. This delay might come from legal complications, disagreements between different groups involved, or unexpected problems while reviewing the rules.  For instance, groups that support certain causes, businesses, or state governments might legally challenge the decision, which could slow down the process. Also, things like not having enough resources or having staffing problems within the DEA could make it take longer to finish all the needed steps to make the change official.  What Can We Expect As we look ahead to the potential rescheduling of cannabis, it's clear that we're on the brink of a big shift in how it is regulated. While the road ahead may seem long and with obstacles, it's also important to recognize the historic nature of this step.  The challenges of rescheduling cannabis may not be immediately apparent, but we believe that they will become increasingly evident with time. This move has the potential to impact countless businesses and individuals alike.  At D8 Austin, we stand ready to support our community through this transition, celebrating the victories and offering support during the inevitable challenges. For now, we await the resolution of the DEA. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue enjoying our premium products that exemplify the remarkable attributes of cannabis while highlighting our care and understanding of this marvelous plant.

Explanation of Schedule I and Schedule III

We first need to understand that Schedule I substances are essentially viewed as heavy hitters, the big guns of the controlled substance world. They're characterized by a few key factors: a high potential for abuse, no recognized medical applications, and a perceived lack of safety even under medical supervision. Think of hardcore narcotics like heroin or hallucinogens like LSD—they fall squarely into this category.


Now, contrast that with Schedule III substances, and you'll notice a notable shift in tone. These substances are considered to have a lower risk of abuse compared to their Schedule I or II counterparts. Importantly, they're recognized as having currently accepted medical uses, setting them apart from Schedule I substances. While they may still carry some potential for physical or psychological dependence, it's generally considered to be less severe than with Schedule I or II drugs. Painkillers containing codeine, some steroids, and even testosterone fall into this category.


So, the proposed rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III isn't just a bureaucratic shuffle—it represents a seismic shift in how cannabis is perceived and regulated. It acknowledges that while it may have risks, they're not on par with those associated with hardcore narcotics. It opens the door for recognizing and harnessing its potential benefits while acknowledging that, like many substances, it does come with some cautions.


The Intrusion of Large Corporations

With the recent announcements, there's growing concern about the potential dominance of large corporations in the cannabis industry. As cannabis gains mainstream acceptance and legalization spreads, there's a looming threat of big players entering the market and controlling every aspect from cultivation to retail.


As it happens with other industries, corporate giants can dictate the entire market. This could lead to limited choices and reduced competition, placing small businesses, like our own, at jeopardy of being crushed. We know that larger corporations don’t tend to share the same care and interest in their clients as small businesses do. 


As the cannabis industry expands and becomes more mainstream, there's a valid concern that the distinctive characteristics and culture associated with cannabis could be diluted or even lost entirely. Part of what makes cannabis special is its rich history and cultural significance. Our community has a unique identity that sets us apart from other commodities.


Dissolving Cannabis Uniqueness

Traditionally, we've cherished the diverse array of flavors, aromas, and effects offered by different cannabis strains. From the earthy notes of an Indica to the citrusy tones of a Sativa, we have long celebrated the nuanced differences between varieties and the diverse experiences they offer.


But now, with the threat of big corporations jumping into the mix, there's a worry that this whole variety party might take a hit. Instead of digging into the details of each strain and what makes them special, these big players might just focus on streamlining production processes to maximize efficiency and profit margins. In this pursuit of efficiency, there's a risk of sacrificing the rich tapestry of cannabis varieties for high-yield, cost-effective strains.


The profit-driven mindset could lead to harmful shortcuts in cultivation practices, such as heavy pesticide use and reliance on synthetic fertilizers. These practices not only compromise the quality and safety of the final product and users but also disregard environmental sustainability.


A person using tongs to place cannabis buds on a scale, with jars of cannabis visible in the background.

Potential Economic Effects

The economic ramification of rescheduling cannabis has various factors. Let's start with taxation. Reclassifying will lead to legalizing and regulating cannabis in states in which it is currently prohibited and would undoubtedly create a new revenue stream for governments through taxation on sales, cultivation, and distribution. 


This imposition of taxes could pose big challenges for small businesses within the cannabis industry. While taxation is often viewed as a means to generate revenue for governments, it can significantly impact the operational costs and competitiveness of smaller enterprises.


For mom-and-pop retailers and local dispensaries, a further increase in taxation or regulation would increase overhead expenses, thereby reducing profit margins that are already nominal. This could create a barrier to entry or expansion for smaller players, making it difficult for them to compete with larger corporations, especially if it requires them to be a DEA-certified pharmacy to remain your dispensary of choice.


If taxation leads to increased prices for cannabis products, small businesses may struggle to retain customers who could opt for cheaper alternatives offered by larger corporations. This could result in a loss of market share and revenue for smaller enterprises, further exacerbating their challenges in competing with companies.


Impact on Cannabis Research

Moving cannabis to Schedule III has the potential to make groundbreaking advancements in cannabis research. This transition would significantly reduce the administrative and regulatory obstacles researchers currently face when seeking approval to investigate its therapeutic applications. It could also accelerate research efforts and allow scientists to explore the potential medical advantages of cannabis more efficiently, without encountering unnecessary limitations.


With reduced bureaucratic barriers, scientists would be better positioned to explore the vast chemical diversity within the cannabis plant, potentially uncovering previously unknown cannabinoids with unique properties. These discoveries could open up new avenues for medical research as well, offering insights into the therapeutic potential of these compounds for treating various health conditions.


Cannabis Rescheduling Timeline

The process of cannabis rescheduling involves several key steps:

  1. The DEA initiates the process by formally proposing the change through a notice published in the Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government. This notice typically includes a detailed rationale for the proposed reschedule, scientific evidence supporting the decision, and an invitation for public comment.

  2. During a designated public comment period, individuals, organizations, and industry representatives can submit feedback, concerns, or additional relevant information. Public comments play an important role in informing the DEA's decision-making process, providing valuable insights into the potential impacts and implications of the proposal.

  3. The DEA conducts a thorough review of the submitted comments, newly provided scientific research, and any other relevant data to inform its final decision on the reschedule.

  4. The DEA issues a final rule in the Federal Register announcing its decision. This final rule typically includes a detailed explanation of the rationale behind the decision, responses to public comments, and any additional regulatory requirements or changes resulting from the rescheduling.


It's important to know that the process of changing the classification of cannabis could take longer than expected. This delay might come from legal complications, disagreements between different groups involved, or unexpected problems while reviewing the rules.


For instance, groups that support certain causes, businesses, or state governments might legally challenge the decision, which could slow down the process. Also, things like not having enough resources or having staffing problems within the DEA could make it take longer to finish all the needed steps to make the change official.


What Can We Expect

As we look ahead to the potential rescheduling of cannabis, it's clear that we're on the brink of a big shift in how it is regulated. While the road ahead may seem long and with obstacles, it's also important to recognize the historic nature of this step.


The challenges of rescheduling cannabis may not be immediately apparent, but we believe that they will become increasingly evident with time. This move has the potential to impact countless businesses and individuals alike.


At D8 Austin, we stand ready to support our community through this transition, celebrating the victories and offering support during the inevitable challenges. For now, we await the resolution of the DEA. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue enjoying our premium products that exemplify the remarkable attributes of cannabis while highlighting our care and understanding of this marvelous plant.


Close-up image of a cannabis plant with text overlay: “Cannabis Rescheduling - The Unforeseen Impacts - May 2024”

6 views0 comments

Comments


sign-up-background.webp

SIGN UP TO STAY INFORMED

Thanks for subscribing!

home-background-3.webp
new-renegade.webp

NEW PRODUCT

RENEGADE CBD ROSIN DROPS

bottom of page