As the federal government considers lowering marijuana’s classification as among the riskiest drugs, Gov. Jared Polis is expressing his support.
Polis sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday backing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation that marijuana be removed from the Schedule I classification — reserved for dangerous drugs posing the same risks as LSD, peyote and heroin — and instead be moved to Schedule III.
“It’s about time,” Polis said in the letter.
While the decision whether to reclassify marijuana rests with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Polis also called on Biden to support federal action to allow marijuana businesses access to banking services, reduce criminal penalties for marijuana possession and distribution, and address “immigration related consequences.”
“While this was most welcome news from HHS, much work lies ahead,” Polis said. “Let’s celebrate this progress and work together to finish the job.”
Though marijuana advocates have pushed for declassification instead of reclassification, experts say the change would still result in tax benefits for marijuana business and a wider acceptance of marijuana as a medical treatment. This could mean major financial benefits to the industry, particularly in Colorado.
Marijuana sales were down nearly $100 million in 2022, compared with 2021, and 2023 sales are on track to be down even further than 2022, according to the Colorado-based Marijuana Industry Group. Colorado lost 10,481 cannabis jobs last year, according to the Vangst 2023 Jobs Report.
As the federal government considers lowering marijuana’s classification as among the riskiest drugs, Gov. Jared Polis is is expressing his support. Read More