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DEA Administrator Allegedly Absent from Cannabis Rescheduling Decision

Reports from last week suggesting that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would support recommendations for cannabis rescheduling were not approved by the organization’s administrator, one source has suggested.

Last week, Business of Cannabis reported that the head of anti-cannabis legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), Kevin Sabet, said he was ‘hearing a lot of chatter’ that a DEA decision was coming soon.

“I’m hearing from some sources that pro-marijuana Democratic senators are saying it’s very soon, as in today or tomorrow,” he said, but added that this could be ‘wishful thinking’, and may be ‘three weeks or three months away’.

A day later, he was proven correct, as the Associated Press reported that five sources close to the matter confirmed that the DEA will recommend that cannabis be moved from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Now, Sabet has taken to social media to suggest that DEA Administrator, Anne Milgram, ‘did not sign the rescheduling order’, according to two confidential sources inside the DEA, Marijuana Moment reported.

Questioned as to why Xochitl Hinojosa, the director of public affairs for the Justice Department, of which the DEA is a component, confirmed that the Attorney General had circulated ‘a proposal to reclassify marijuana’, he suggested that this ‘breaks big time from precedent’.

“(I’m) not saying this means it won’t be done, just saying this breaks big time from precedent (so it’s not just the decision that’s the outlier, but the process too).”

While the implications of Milgram’s involvement (or lack thereof) are not yet fully understood), further reporting from Green Market Report suggests that the rescheduling is still years away.

Although the Biden administration has signalled that its full weight will be put behind rescheduling cannabis as quickly as possible, the report suggests that the process could take up to four years if its not challenged and brought to judicial review, which could add a further three years onto the timeline.

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