By Stanley Jutkowitz and Susan Ryan 

Seyfarth Synopsis: Cannabis would move to Schedule III from Schedule I under this reclassification.

In a move long awaited by the cannabis industry, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has decided to re-schedule cannabis. Currently classified under Schedule I, along with heroin, cannabis would now move to Schedule III, along with ketamine and anabolic steroids.

This would not legalize cannabis for adult-use; rules and regulations would still apply, and there would be criminal prosecution of those who deal in cannabis without a license.

Re-scheduling, although much closer than it was yesterday, is still a ways off. The DEA rule needs to be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget. After that review, there would be a public comment period (which looks to be at least 60 days, although no firm timeline has yet been set), after which the DEA rule would be published and go into effect. Given the controversy surrounding both the rescheduling and legalization of marijuana, we would not be surprised if there is litigation that seeks to stop the rescheduling from going into effect.

This story was first reported by the Associated Press. More details and commentary will appear in this week’s Week In Weed.