April 30, 2024



Washington, D.C. – The National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) is heralding the historic news that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to follow the science-based recommendation to move cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to a less restrictive Schedule III classification.

Since the October 6, 2022 directive by President Biden for federal agencies to expeditiously review the appropriateness of cannabis being classified in the most restrictive CSA schedule, NCR has been instrumental in advocating for and informing the heads of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as to the scientific facts and medical value of cannabis meriting its reclassification to at least Schedule III – understanding the limitations of the authority of HHS and DOJ when it comes to the CSA and urging the DEA to follow the scientific findings of HHS and the FDA in this process.

Statement from Saphira Galoob, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Roundtable:

“While NCR continues to call for federal action to address criminal justice reform and empower existing state programs, rescheduling marks a monumental shift in federal cannabis policy as our fight to end prohibition continues. We applaud President Biden for his courage and leadership in setting this process in motion, and we thank the due diligence of the DOJ and HHS in carrying out this process and coming to a decision based soundly in science that we hope to see swiftly finalized, opening up the doors for further important medical research and alleviating the insurmountable tax burden imposed under 280E. This is critical for state legal cannabis businesses to be treated with fairness and to have the resources needed to reinvest in their workforce and community – and to survive the threat the illicit market poses to the regulated market and public safety. But we know our work does not stop here, particularly when it comes to righting the wrongs of the War on Drugs. While we celebrate progress today with this historic news, we remain committed to continuing the conversations with our federal partners to enact additional cannabis reforms that are long overdue – starting with getting SAFE Banking passed this year and ultimately ending the harmful and misguided policy of federal prohibition.”

Statement from Jim Cole, NCR Advisory Board Member and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General for the United States:

“The news of proposed rescheduling to come out of the Biden Administration is one of tremendous importance and substance and should be applauded. The DEA recommendation of Schedule III is an important first step – it’s truly historic and its importance cannot be understated – but it does not solve all of the issues presented by the current approach to the regulation of cannabis in this country. What is really needed is for Congress to act to create a unified regulatory environment that involves both the states and the federal government. By recognizing, as the federal government has done, that cannabis does have valuable medical applications and with the overwhelming legalization in the states, Congress must face the simple reality that cannabis is and will be present in our society and do its duty by providing for the safest and most effective regulatory environment to exist.”

Statement from Kathleen Sebelius, NCR Honorary Co-Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services:

“Thanks to the Biden Administration’s willingness to look at the science and update outdated, politically-driven policy, the expected reclassification of cannabis to Schedule III finally recognizes that 38 states across the country have already concluded – that cannabis has medical value. Since the last petition calling for a review of the scheduling of cannabis in 2016, we have seen several positive developments that support a conclusion of Schedule III, which will unlock the ability of researchers to find more new uses, formulations, and conditions that can be treated with cannabis to positively impact individuals’ lives and public health. We applaud the Biden Administration for following the science and moving to reclassify cannabis, but we also recognize the path forward for federal cannabis reform necessitates a holistic approach requiring more work within executive agencies and by Congress to address the terrible toll that 70 years of the War on Drugs has taken on communities across America.”

The National Cannabis Roundtable is an alliance of cannabis companies, as well as ancillary services and solutions providers, who seek cannabis reform that nurtures the nascent domestic industry, protects consumers, and advances social equity.