Vicente LLP Federal and International Cannabis and Psychedelics Law and Policy Update: June 2024

Jun 13, 2024

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Welcome to the Vicente LLP Federal and International Cannabis and Psychedelics Law & Policy update! In this quarterly newsletter, we will share selected insights, news and events to keep you in the loop on global cannabis, hemp and psychedelics happenings.

Learn more about our federal and international law and policy services.  

International News & Insights

Czech MPs Decide to Allow the Sale of HHC, Kratom and Other Light THC Products

The Czech Republic's parliament has authorized the regulation and sale of certain substances, including HHC, kratom and low-THC cannabis. The new law aims to protect children by restricting access to these substances while allowing adults to purchase them from specialty stores. The sale of these substances will be subject to continuous monitoring and approval by the European Commission. Read more.

Germany's New Law Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis Now in Force

Germany legalized adult cannabis possession and home cultivation on April 1. Germany's legalization focuses on non-profit cannabis social clubs opening in July. These clubs will have strict rules about who can join, where they can be located, and how they operate. For now, any commercial benefits from cannabis legalization seem more likely to happen in the medical marijuana market. Read more.

Speedy Amnesty for Cannabis Convictions in Germany

Germany's new cannabis law includes an amnesty provision that allows people with past cannabis convictions to have their charges expunged or reduced. This has already led to over 125 prison releases in just a few months. While some delays exist, particularly in complex cases, Germany's implementation of the amnesty is faster than that of other countries and could serve as a model for future cannabis legalization efforts. Read more.

South African President Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill into Law

In May 2024, South Africa legalized adult possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use. The new law, called the "Cannabis for Private Purposes Act," removes criminal penalties but doesn't allow for commercial sales. The law also allows the expungement of past cannabis convictions. Read more.

'Huge Milestone' as Japan Moves Ahead with Cannabis Reform

Japan is taking a big step towards legalizing cannabis products with CBD. Japan could be the first country to allow CBD in food products with a small amount of THC, which is currently not permitted. This reform comes after Japan legalized medical cannabis in late 2023. Read more.

Thailand Prime Minister Seeks to Criminalize Weed in Reversal

Thailand's new prime minister wants to reclassify marijuana as a narcotic by the end of the year by restricting cannabis use to medical purposes only, despite becoming one of the first countries in Asia to decriminalize cannabis two years ago. Read more.

Vicente LLP monitors and tracks international cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics laws. Please contact us if you are interested in receiving updates for specific countries/regions or would like strategic guidance related to expanding your business internationally. Learn more about our Federal and International Law & Policy services.

Federal News & Insights

DEA Moves to Reclassify Marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, Marking Historic Shift in U.S. Drug Policy

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is planning to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD. The DEA would move it to Schedule III, acknowledging marijuana's potential medical uses and potential of abuse.

The rescheduling still needs to go through some steps before it's final, including public comment and review by an administrative judge. This change wouldn't federally legalize marijuana for recreational use, but it could reduce the tax burden for marijuana businesses, ease research on marijuana's medical benefits and help clear criminal records for marijuana possession. Read more.

4 Major Implications of Cannabis Moving to Schedule III

After 50 years of being in the most restrictive schedule alongside drugs like heroin and PCP, the DEA will move to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, where the plant's medical benefits will finally be recognized by the federal government. Read this article for answers to four of the most important questions about the effects Schedule III will have on cannabis and society. Read more.

Cannabis Rescheduling: The DEA's Proposed Rule and the Supporting OLC Opinion

The DEA published its proposed rule to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III on May 21, and the 60-day public comment period has officially opened. The DEA also published an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel that provides a thorough analysis supporting why placing marijuana in Schedule III is appropriate and legally justified. Read this insight for a high-level overview of the proposed rule and the OLC Opinion. Read more.

Your Voice Matters: Help Transfer Cannabis out of Schedule I

We are at a historic and critical moment for cannabis reform, as the DOJ and HHS/FDA have proposed rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III. The DEA is accepting public comments until July 22, 2024 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, so now is the time to take action and make your voice heard! Click here to learn more.

Calling All Business Owners: Take This Survey

Vicente LLP is committed to advancing Cannabis Rescheduling, and we are excited to share an easy way for cannabis business owners to assist in data collection that will help push reform.

As part of the DEA’s Public Comment Period for Marijuana Rescheduling, the federal government has specifically asked for information on the economic impacts of Rescheduling. We are partnering with the Minority Cannabis Business Association on a survey to quantify the economic impacts of rescheduling and 280E reform on small businesses. Aggregate results will be published in a public report that will be utilized as part of MCBA and CCSR’s public comment for federal cannabis rescheduling. All individual business data provided in this survey will be kept strictly confidential.

Please take a few moments to complete the Business Conditions Survey.

Rescheduling Cannabis Shifts The Paradigm By Finally Recognizing Its Medical Value

Vicente LLP partner Shawn Hauser argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that the federal decision to reschedule cannabis is "a historic and critically important shift"—with the government "finally (and officially) recognizing the efficacy and safety of cannabis for medical use." Read more.

Marijuana Rescheduling: Why Opponents Have No Idea What They Are Talking About

After listening to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee Hearing with the Commissioner of the FDA on April 11, one conclusion was reinforced—opponents of marijuana reform are misinformed and rely on misstating facts to support their position. Those against moving marijuana into Schedule III are making their voices heard, but almost universally, those voices simply do not understand what Schedule III would mean. Read more.

Marijuana Rescheduling Part II: Why Opponents Continue to Have No Idea What They Are Talking About

In a recent House Committee meeting with DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, Rep. Andrew S. Clyde voiced his opposition to removing marijuana from Schedule I based on public safety reasons, but then contradicted himself by stating marijuana is "not as dangerous as some of the others we have talked about" (the meeting focused primarily on fentanyl's harms to communities). This blog post addresses the false narratives and misconceptions that opponents of cannabis reform continue to promote. Read more. 

Meet the Team

If your business needs help with legal planning, regulatory support, corporate guidance, and strategies for international expansion, or if you’d like to stay up to date on international cannabis policy, Vicente LLP’s Federal and International Law and Policy team can help. Contact us today! 

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