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President Biden Notes Effort To Reclassify Marijuana In State Of The Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The push to reform the nation’s marijuana laws was among the topics President Biden discussed in Thursday night’s State of the Union Address.

According to the Cannabis Business Times, it was the first time a U.S. president had touched on cannabis policy during the State of the Union since 1988 when President Reagan mentioned marijuana in the context of the nation’s war on drugs.

This time, President Biden took note of his request to review how marijuana is classified under federal law.  As part of that initiative, the Department of Health and Human Services has asked that marijuana be classified as a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substance Act rather than its current Schedule 1 classification, which is used for the most dangerous controlled substances.  Mr. Biden has also called for decriminalizing cannabis and pardoning simple possession offenses at the federal level.

While discussing his domestic policy goals, Mr. Biden included “directing my cabinet to review the federal classification of marijuana, and expunging thousands of convictions for the mere possession, because no one should be jailed for simply using.”

MarketWatch reported that shares of both U.S. and Canadian cannabis stocks rose after the president’s remarks.

It followed previous comments while campaigning in January, in which Mr. Biden said: “I [kept] my promises when I said no one—no one should be in prison for merely possessing marijuana or using it, and their records should be expunged. A promise made, and a promise kept.”

Many in the cannabis industry welcomed the inclusion of marijuana policy in the State of the Union.

“It’s a significant moment for the country to hear cannabis rescheduling mentioned during President Biden’s State of the Union speech,” said Matt Darin, CEO of cannabis operator Curaleaf was quoted as saying. “This level of public support of cannabis reform at the federal level is long overdue, and demonstrates a strong point of leverage for cannabis politically. We hope that the DEA will follow President Biden’s lead by rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III this year. Rescheduling would contribute to further de-stigmatization of the plant, and by removing the burden of [IRS tax code] 280-E, would allow businesses to place further focus on growth and job creation.”

President Biden did not mention any specific timeframe on when the DEA might make a decision on the reclassification of cannabis.

As cannabis becomes legal across the United States, the best way to stay on top of all the modern trends is with Cannabutter Digest! Check back often for the latest cannabis industry news, exciting new products, and even delicious cannabutter recipes!

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