BREAKING NEWS: DEA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Move Marijuana to Schedule III

Today is another historic day in the history of cannabis control and regulation. In a much anticipated announcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to reschedule marijuana, from Controlled Substances Act (CSA) schedule I to schedule III (the “Proposed Rule”).

We have covered the implications of a schedule III placement in various posts on this blog, beginning with the Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation that DEA undertake this rescheduling last August. See:

For now, here are a couple of high-level observations on today’s Proposed Rule.

First, DEA is not proposing an interim final rule. We expected as much, but it would have been nice! Under an interim final rule, an agency finds that it has good cause to issue a final rule without first publishing a proposed rule (as DEA did here). An interim final rule would have gone effect immediately upon publication, and marijuana would have been moved to schedule III today. Instead we’ll have to wait.

Second, the Proposed Rule gives a standard 60-day comment period, from the date the Proposed Rule is published in the Federal Register. That’s a pretty standard window; although, as I’ve explained before, this can always be

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