With 38 states recognizing cannabis for its medical purposes, the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance creates conflict between federal and state laws. This conflict poses challenges for the cannabis industry. However, a recent recommendation for rescheduling cannabis offers potential for change in a positive direction for the industry.

In August 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted a recommendation to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) proposing the rescheduling of cannabis from a Schedule I to Schedule III substance. This recommendation is based on a scientific review conducted by HHS, which asserts that cannabis is neither risky nor prone to abuse. The recommendation highlights the medical benefits of cannabis, challenging its current classification as Schedule I. The significance of this recommendation lies in its potential to redefine the legal status of cannabis at the federal level.

Schedule I Substance