New bill would push cannabis to Schedule III

New bill would push cannabis to Schedule III

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

A new bill before Congress would move cannabis from its Schedule I designation to Schedule III, the same classification shared by tylenol codeine, ketamine and dronabinol.

Congressmen Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) and Rep. Darren Soto (D) of Florida introduced legislation Thursday which would transfer cannabis from the strictest of all substance classifications. Under the Controlled Substances Act, Schedule I-designated drugs have no medical value and a high chance for abuse. 

Gaetz said moving cannabis to a lower designation would uphold the rights of states which legalized cannabis and allow for expanded banking activities and research.

When Gaetz served as a state legislator in 2014 and 2015, he supported legislation to legalize cannabis with no psychoactive effects for medical use and a bill for terminally-ill patients to access authentic non-smokeable cannabis. Both were signed into law.

If the bill passes, the currently unnamed House Bill 202 would not affect the social cannabis businesses. The bill is aims at encouraging research and creating an economic boost by allowing medical cannabis dispensaries to work with banks.

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced it would allow privately operated growers to apply to grow cannabis for research in August, but made no action to approve or deny applications.