The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been discussing the possibility of rescheduling marijuana from being a schedule I substance. The consensus is, so far, that it would be rescheduled as a scheduled II drug, in the same category with OxyContin and other prescribed narcotics. But with this would come heavy federal regulations that will likely make it difficult for currently-operating legal marijuana businesses to keep their doors open.
Although slim, there is a chance that marijuana could be completely de-scheduled, says Inc.com, similar to tobacco or alcohol. But, if rescheduling were to occur, the FDA would regulate the use, sale and distribution of all cannabis and marijuana in the United States, like with prescription drugs.
A lawyer assisting marijuana companies with regulation compliance, Andrew Ittleman said, “Schedule II would be a nightmare for the cannabis industry.”
One issue that could arise is that with regulations in-place, the FDA would test each product to ensure that testing results coincide with what the strain is said to benefit. Strains or products not meeting their claims could be pulled from dispensaries/pharmacies and other legal recourse could take place such as infractions for impurities or adulterated drug claims.
Marijuana industry CPA, Hank Levy said, “If the FDA came out and said we are making cannabis Schedule II and the entire industry didn’t change, the whole industry would be illegally trafficking a Schedule II substance.”
The benefit of the FDA-controlled testing would be solidifying what studies have been publishing for decades – that marijuana does have medical uses and is a proven alternative remedy for dozens of medical conditions.
Ittleman also stated that, “I don’t see Schedule II as being any help here for the existing cannabis industry at all. This is the red carpet for Purdue Pharma and Pfizer to enter the industry.”
Questions have been posed regarding the rescheduling or de-scheduling of marijuana and what it would mean for society where adversity for the industry would be present.
In response to that, marijuana dispensary owner and entrepreneur Steve DeAngelo said, “We’ll take to the hills, like we always have. It’s a plant and it can grow anywhere. The only way they can take it away from us is if we give it to them.”