Biden administration seeks to reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule III. What this means and its impacts on businesses

The president's proposal must be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget before undergoing a public comment period.

Emily Young

May 15, 2024, 9:29 PM

Updated 11 days ago

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The Biden administration is seeking to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I narcotic to a Schedule III.
So, what exactly does this mean and how will it impact local dispensaries? News12's Emily Young went to one in White Plains to find out.
Under the president's proposal, marijuana would go from a Schedule I narcotic, which means there is no "accepted medical use" to a Schedule III, which are drugs used medicinally with a low potential for addiction, like Tylenol with codeine.
"It's exciting, it's one of the biggest things to happen in the industry in many, many years," said Raphael Bassalobre, the owner of Leafology in White Plains.
He tells News12 it would allow them to do business with national banks, something that’s currently prohibited. He says it would also change the tax code. Just like any other business, dispensaries would be able to deduct business expenses, like rent and labor.
"To essentially deduct more expenses brings more cash to the business, it allows you to generate more profits, which allows you to reinvest in the business and grow the business, hire more people. Make investments," explained Bassalobre.
The reclassification would als acknowledge the medical benefits of marijuana and trigger further pharmaceutical research on the topic.
"Cannabis has been a drug that has helped people with a variety of ailments...headaches, migraines, to pain relief. We've seen incredible benefits for people with seizures," said Bassalobre.
But while many in the industry applaud this change, addiction specialist Dr. Michael Mccormick says this is cause for concern, and questions the timing.
"Were actually seeing more and more side effects and problem with the cannabis and smoking cannabis and the severity of it, so it just doesn't make sense to do it now," he said.
The president's proposal must be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget before undergoing a public comment period.


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