The DEA continues to leave us sitting on the edge of our seats. Earlier this year, officials from the department told lawmakers that the agency aimed to make a decision on rescheduling marijuana within "the first half of 2016."
Well, the first half of the year came and went without a word from the DEA. Russ Baer, an agency spokesman, couldn't give a time frame on when a decision would be made. However, he told The Cannabist on Tuesday that the DEA was, "closer than we were a month ago."
The process of rescheduling any substance is very extensive. The DEA must work through a thorough eighty-point analysis.
Marijuana patients, activists, and advocates alike are fighting for the removal of the Schedule I label currently associated with marijuana. The rescheduling of cannabis would open the door for labs, universities, and medical facilities to begin performing tests on the benefits and ailments that come with consuming marijuana.
Cannabis business leaders are also fighting for a Schedule II ruling, which would allow for wider banking access for states where medical and recreational sales are legal.
Though the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA have already pass along their recommendations to the DEA, those recommendations have not been public. The DEA has said that they will release their findings to the public, as well as the other agencies recommendations, once a decision is made.