Moving Cannabis to Schedule 3 Could Have Wide-Ranging Impact

The Biden Administration is considering reclassifying marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3, aligning it with substances like Tylenol with codeine, known for “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Currently grouped with LSD and heroin, this adjustment wouldn’t federally decriminalize marijuana, though it’s seen by some as a potential step in that direction.

Sha’Ron James, a regulatory lawyer and public policy strategist, notes potential regulatory and research impacts, “Interestingly, in order to do research related to marijuana, the specific marijuana that you’re studying can only be received through one entity.” This shift could expand research into how various marijuana strains affect conditions like chronic pain.

Michelle Foye, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Precis Screening, warns [commercial] truck drivers might no longer be tested for marijuana, “If the rule change goes through, DOT [U.S. Department of Transportation] would have the tough job of evaluating its drug testing policy to continue screening safety-sensitive occupations it regulates for marijuana use.” Non-regulated workplaces might still test employees despite marijuana’s reclassification.

Ms. Foye sees opportunities for proactive workplace policies and education. “Employers might want to call a company like ours to say, ‘Hey, how can we be proactive in educating our employees? Can you check out our drug and alcohol policy and program?’”

Public comments can be submitted online at until July 22, 2024.

Visit to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring attorney Sha’Ron James and drug testing expert Michelle Foye discussing the major changes and plans to reclassify marijuana in the U.S.

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