May 16, 2024



Washington, D.C. – The National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) welcomed the submission of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to move cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to a less restrictive Schedule III classification.

**For inquiries regarding media availability with NCR Executive Director Saphira Galoob, NCR Honorary Co-Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, NCR Advisory Board Member and former Deputy Attorney General of the United States Jim Cole, and NCR Federal Policy Leadership team members former U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and former Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) to discuss the administrative rescheduling of cannabis, please contact**

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:

“With the submission of the proposed rule today, the formal administrative process to remove cannabis from the strictest of classifications – where it never belonged – we are moving closer to seeing the most monumental cannabis reform in half a century come to fruition. Just as today’s news is another step forward in the ongoing administrative process that began with the October 2022 directive by President Biden, rescheduling is also a step towards larger federal cannabis reforms. This is an acknowledgment by the multiple federal agencies of what the 38 states with medical programs, 30,000 medical practitioners recommending cannabis, and six million medical cannabis patients have long known: cannabis has medical value. But our work does not end here. While we continue to commend President Biden, the DOJ, and HHS for following the science and not ignoring the need for federal cannabis policies to shift after decades of state leadership, Congress must also take action to further this progress. It starts with addressing the harms of the failed War on Drugs, supporting the work that has been done in the states, and providing regulated cannabis businesses with the same resources and opportunities to succeed as all other industries and it culminates with the end of federal prohibition. 

“NCR looks forward to a thoughtful public comment period and then seeing the rescheduling rule being swiftly implemented to open the doors for further research and remove the heavy tax burden placed on cannabis operators due to 280E as we push even harder for further cannabis policy reforms by other federal agencies and Congress – where the most impactful changes ultimately can be made.”

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

“The announcement by 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 recommendation to reclassify 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.