The Rotation: Vol. 43
DEA's Final Authority on Cannabis, UFC's Removal of Cannabis Ban, and Purchasing Challenges at Point-of-Sale
DEA Asserts Final Say in Marijuana Scheduling: A Policy Standoff Unfolds
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) asserted its ultimate authority in determining marijuana’s scheduling, regardless of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation, amid an ongoing review initiated by President Joe Biden in October 2022, reports Marijuana Moment.
- DEA, in response to a letter from Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer, highlighted its authority in making scheduling decisions under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
- The agency emphasized its role in reviewing HHS recommendations, maintaining final jurisdiction over scheduling decisions.
- Observers anticipated the review’s conclusion before the November election but lacked clarity on the timeline.
- Despite ongoing debates and diverse stakeholder input, little information was disclosed about HHS’s rationale for recommending marijuana’s move to Schedule III.
The DEA’s steadfast assertion of authority without addressing lawmakers’ arguments underscores a bureaucratic approach rather than engaging with the urgency of cannabis reform. The lack of transparency around HHS’s justification for rescheduling perpetuates confusion and fails to align with public expectations for a more informed, evidence-based decision. The array of conflicting opinions from former DEA heads, lawmakers, and advocates further complicates an already complex landscape, highlighting the deep divides within cannabis policy spheres. This bureaucratic inertia risks prolonging outdated policies, hindering the progress urged by advocates and legislators calling for substantial cannabis reform.
UFC Lifts Cannabis Ban for Fighters
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made a groundbreaking announcement, eliminating marijuana from its list of banned substances for athletes, signifying a significant shift in its anti-doping policies, reports Marijuana Moment.
- UFC’s new policy removes cannabis as a banned substance for professional fighters.
- The revision, effective December 31, stems from a collaborative effort and aims for fair competition.
- This change aligns with multiple sports organizations adjusting their stance on cannabis use among athletes.
- While welcomed, the move questions the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) continued cannabis ban.
The UFC’s decision to remove marijuana from its list of banned substances reflects an important shift in how sports leagues view cannabis use among athletes. Notably, the UFC not only lifted the ban but also ended its association with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). This bold move sets a progressive tone and acknowledges the evolving perceptions around cannabis in professional sports, emphasizing a more balanced approach to health and performance for fighters.
Unlocking Cannabis Confidence: The Need for In-Person Product Assessment
This recent op-ed published by StratCann discusses the persistent challenges in purchasing cannabis, notably the limitations hindering consumers from assessing product quality at the point of sale, influencing public sentiment and could help address THC inflation concerns.
- Regulations restricting sensory assessment hindered consumer confidence.
- Oregon’s deli-style retail favors higher quality products from smaller producers.
- Prepackaging-only limits smaller producers and increases logistical costs.
- Consumer perspective highlights rigid pack sizes and ineffective diversion prevention.
The Canadian cannabis industry’s adherence to prepackaging has hurt consumers and smaller producers. This is particularly true for long-time consumers that rely heavily on selecting cannabis flower based on the aroma. Allowing bulk distribution and deli-style retail could improve confidence, support smaller producers, and reduce environmental impact. We whole-heartedly agree that the failure to adopt these measures will continue to perpetuate dissatisfaction among consumers.