Moving cannabis to Schedule 3 could eliminate the onerous 280E tax provision for operators.

By John Schroyer, Green Market Report

Marijuana rescheduling just got real.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Joe Biden administration formally recommended to its peers at the Department of Justice that marijuana be moved lower on the list of federally controlled substances, from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Marijuana researcher with plants

The move is potentially the first step toward cannabis legalization in the United States, since Schedule 1 is reserved for drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use,” such as heroin, while Schedule 3 is defined as having “a potential for abuse” and “may lead to moderate or low physical dependence.” Schedule 3 drugs are easily available for medical patients, and the category includes ketamine, Tylenol with codeine, and some anabolic steroids.

The recommendation was in a letter sent on Aug. 29 from HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine to Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram, Bloomberg reported. The letter also noted that the Food and Drug Administration examined eight different factors while analyzing marijuana’s place on Schedule 1, and determined that Schedule 3 was the more appropriate fit.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse concurred with that recommendation, Levine wrote.

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