Governor Polis, Governors From Across the Country Encourage Biden Administration & Federal Government to Reschedule Cannabis Rescheduling of Marijuana will Make Communities Safer

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

DENVER - Today, Governor Polis led a letter to the Biden administration with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The Governors applauded President Biden for reconsidering the classification of cannabis and encouraged the federal government to reschedule cannabis. Governor Polis, and the Governors, expressed their hope that the Drug Enforcement Administration will reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III this year. Nearly 88% of Americans are in favor of legalization for medical and recreational use. This action would rectify this outdated designation, which risks small businesses and public safety. 

“This decision by a leading federal health agency comes on the heels of 38 states creating their own state markets and complementary regulatory systems. In some cases, these state regimes have thrived for more than a decade, and this recommendation by FDA is a real testament to their success. It’s a signal that FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services have faith in state regulators and the regulations that they have promulgated to keep citizens safe,” the Governors wrote.

This federal rescheduling would allow cannabis-related businesses to take ordinary tax deductions, like any other business. The cannabis industry generated an estimated $30 billion dollars in sales revenue in 2022 and is estimated to generate over $71 billion by 2030. Rescheduling cannabis will not only alleviate financial and safety concerns for businesses but allow a thriving industry to play a full role in the American business environment. 

Regulated cannabis access sold in state-legal markets is safer than alternatives and is associated with reduced rates of opioid use and abuse; opioid-related hospitalizations, traffic fatalities, drug treatment admissions, and overdose deaths. This common-sense action will make Americans safer. 

“There is, and will continue to be, a significant consumer demand for cannabis. That fact will not change regardless of the public policy choices that we make.” The Governors wrote So, it seems obvious and sensible to us to make cannabis as safe as it can be for adult consumers while simultaneously protecting our children. The state-regulated marketplace does just that. If the state-legal marketplace doesn’t survive, then we will see unsafe products on every street corner,” the Governors continued.

Read the Governor’s full letter to President Biden.