The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has put forth a recommendation to ease the restrictions on marijuana, responding to a request from the Biden Administration.
According to Reuters, the move follows the legalization of cannabis in nearly 40 U.S. states in various capacities, creating momentum for broader acceptance. Currently labeled a Schedule I drug along with substances like heroin, the HHS suggests reclassifying marijuana with lower potential for dependence and abuse.
“As part of this process, HHS conducted a scientific and medical evaluation for consideration by DEA. DEA has the final authority to schedule or reschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act. DEA will now initiate its review,” said a spokesperson with the DEA.
The proposal, conveyed to the DEA as part of President Biden’s directive, could impact stock exchange listings for cannabis-related businesses and potentially open the U.S. market to foreign cannabis companies.
Shares of leading cannabis firms, including Canopy Growth and Tilray, experienced a rise in response to the news.