Xavier Becerra, the U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary, revealed during a Meet & Greet event in Tampa, Florida, that his agency is prepared to move quickly to implement the review of marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 drug. This comes after President Joe Biden issued a directive ordering that the scheduling of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act be reviewed.
Speaking to reporters, the health secretary asserted that the nation will see the speed with which the review will be conducted. However, Becerra was quick to add that at the end of the day, science would be the deciding factor regarding the conclusions of the review process.
The directive calling for a review of the categorization of marijuana was one of the announcements that the president made last week. He also announced that the federal government was going to pardon all those convicted in federal court for simple cannabis possession. The Justice Department was tasked with designing mechanisms through which these pardons would be granted. Biden then called on governors around the country to emulate this step and also consider granting pardons to those with minor cannabis-related convictions.
Becerra revealed that the job of conducting the review per the president’s order will go to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The HHS secretary said he had already talked to Commissioner Robert Califf of the FDA about starting the review process. Becerra then commented that while conducting such a review wasn’t a new thing, the amount of information to collect is significant because so many states have implemented medical or recreational marijuana programs over the years.
At the moment, a total of 19 states have recreational or adult-use marijuana markets while an additional five will decide whether to legalize recreational cannabis during the upcoming polls in November. Another 18 states also have medicinal cannabis programs.
Despite this wave of marijuana legalization across the country, most financial institutions are reluctant to accept marijuana businesses as clients for fear that they will face the wrath of federal authorities; federal policy maintains that cannabis is strictly prohibited and doesn’t have any known medical application.
The entire cannabis industry, including actors such as Prime Harvest Inc., will probably be waiting with bated breath to see how quickly the scheduling review is conducted and what recommendations will be made for implementation by the federal government. Hopefully, the process will not drag on endlessly for years.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Prime Harvest Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PRIME
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