U.S. Health Secretary Already Working With FDA On Cannabis Scheduling Review

U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is already working with the FDA to review cannabis’ federal scheduling status as directed by President Biden during his pardoning announcement last week.

Full story after the jump.

The U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said on Friday that his agency intends to move “as quickly as we can” to deliver on President Biden’s request for the review of federal cannabis laws, the Florida Phoenix reports.

Biden formally requested for Becerra and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to expedite a review of the nation’s cannabis laws on Thursday; at the same time, the president issued pardons for all federal cannabis possession and personal use offenses.

Because the scheduling review will fall largely upon the Federal Food and Drug Administration, Becerra said he is already in discussions with FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.

“The president was very clear — he wants this done as quickly as possible. It’s not new science, but there’s a lot of information to gather because in many states marijuana has been legalized for either medical purposes or recreational purposes.” — Becerra, via the Phoenix

Cannabis remains a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, which is reserved for drugs “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” despite the advent of dozens of successful medical cannabis programs throughout the U.S. Additionally, 19 states have legalized adult-use cannabis and five more states are set to vote on the issue this November.

A recent poll found that 60% of U.S. voters support the federal legalization of adult-use cannabis.

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