The Missouri Cannabis Trade Association (MoCannTrade) announced this week that it had formally submitted comments to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), advocating for the reclassification of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

In a letter sent to association members, MoCannTrade argues that rescheduling cannabis represents a crucial policy shift that will benefit the industry and support cannabis normalization. The association emphasizes that while this change won’t address all necessary reforms, such as the SAFER Banking Act or the expungement of past nonviolent cannabis offenses, it is a significant step forward.

Over the past five years, Missouri has developed a successful and effective cannabis marketplace.

In the letter, MoCann touts the successes of the Missouri market and lists reasons for supporting rescheduling.

The Case for Rescheduling

MoCannTrade presents several key reasons for supporting the rescheduling of cannabis:

Medical Efficacy: Missouri patients have long experienced the medical benefits of cannabis. With $984.6 million in medical cannabis sales and over 200,000 state-issued medical marijuana cards, the widespread medical use in Missouri exemplifies the Health and Human Services (HHS) conclusion that cannabis has currently accepted medical use in treatment (CAMU).
Research Opportunities: Rescheduling cannabis will facilitate greater research opportunities by eliminating the barriers imposed by its Schedule I status. This change will enable advanced studies on the medical benefits of cannabis, particularly in managing chronic pain and combating opioid use.
Economic Viability: Missouri cannabis businesses face punitive tax rates due to the 280E tax code. Rescheduling will alleviate this burden, allowing cannabis businesses to deduct wholesale costs and operate on par with other small businesses. This change is crucial for the economic viability of cannabis enterprises, including the newly awarded social equity licenses aimed at supporting disadvantaged individuals.

 

Further in the letter, the Association stresses the importance of maintaining state-based regulatory systems while rescheduling cannabis.

MoCannTrade urges the DEA to follow the science, as the HHS has determined that the public health risks posed by marijuana are low compared to other drugs of abuse. The association supports comments from the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform (CCSR) and the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH), reflecting the collective expertise of the industry.

The DEA’s public comment period for the proposed rule ends on July 22. MoCannTrade encourages its members and industry participants to review and submit their comments, emphasizing the importance of rescheduling for the short- and long-term benefits to cannabis businesses and the industry as a whole.

For more information and to submit comments, visit the DEA federal register portal before the July 22 deadline.

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