Friday, July 19, 2024

The Presidential Debate May Have Helped Marijuana

The Presidential debate has fed the news cycle for almost two weeks…but is the real winner marijuana?

In a break from tradition, the two presidential candidate agreed to a new debate format hosted by CNN. Historically, the Commission on Presidential Debates ran the show, but both the leaders for the Republicans and Democrats went with a new, untested format for a 90 minutes, live debate. Since the June face off, media online along in person conversations continue to buzz about the results. But in a surprise, the presidential debate may have helped marijuana – making it a winner of the evening.

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After promising to do more for the marijuana industry, the Biden administration waited until the almost last year of his term to make a major move. At the end of 2023, he encouraged federal agencies to consider rescheduling. The Federal Drug Agency (FDA) and Health and Human Service’s (HHS) recommended cannabis to be rescheduled to Schedule III, with Schedule III drugs defined as having a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence (Schedule III drugs include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone). It now sits with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which isn’t the biggest fan.

This rescheduling will have a significant impact on state-legal cannabis businesses and consumers. Which is key to marijuana success.  Roughly 85% believe marijuana should be legal in some form, but Congress and the Biden administration has been slow to act. But wit key young voters balancing weed along with political and economic issues….it is an easy win.

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Photo by anankkml/Getty Images

While the process is slowly moving, uncertainty remains. The DEA is currently in a feedback phase. The DEA has not be overly excited and some congress members have been lobbying against the change. Noticeably, the medical community has backed rescheduling.

RELATED: Americans Want It, Some Politicians Prefer a Nanny State

Once the DEA publishes its proposed rule, it will be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“White House”) and if approved, it would then proceed to a public comment period. Notably, the DEA could reschedule cannabis by issuing a final order and bypass the notice and comment period which would allow the change to become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The current administration needs a big win with younger voters and to show strengthen and relevancy. This could help push him and the VP to be more decisive.

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