Six Democrat US governors have called on President Biden to ‘reschedule cannabis to Schedule III’ by the end of the year.
Following a landmark recommendation from the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under the guidance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August, the governors have written to the president to urge him to do so this year.
Signatories of the letter included governors from Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Louisiana and Colorado, all Democrats.
In their letter, which was led by Colorado’s Jared Polis, the group said it ‘hopes the DEA will follow suit and reschedule cannabis’ this year, citing data which suggests 88% of Americans are in favour of legalisation for medical or recreational use.
Furthermore, they suggested that 72% of the US population across 38 states now has some form of access to cannabis through state-regulated policies, and that the rescheduling would be a ‘big win’ for those states.
“Rescheduling to Schedule III will alleviate restrictions of Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, allowing cannabis-related businesses to take ordinary business deductions—just like every other American business,” they continued.
“Economists estimate that this will save $1.8 billion per year by shifting cannabis companies to a standard federal corporate rate of 21% versus the up to 80% effective tax rate they face now.”
While there is no reported timeline for the DEA to complete its work on rescheduling, experts believe it’s unlikely that the body would reject the recommendation, and the DEA will likely have to follow the FDA’s scientific evaluation.
Once the DEA completes its investigation and comes to the decision, which is expected to happen by the end of the year, a draft law will be issued which will be followed by a public comment period of 60 days.
The bill has also already encountered considerable opposition however, seeing a number former heads of the DEA and former White House drug czars pen a letter the attorney general voicing their opposition to the proposals.