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News | October 24, 2022
2 minute read

Robert Hendricks Discusses Rescheduling Cannabis in Metro Times Article

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP attorney Robert A. Hendricks provided his insights on President Joe Biden’s request to review the classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic in a Metro Times article titled “Rescheduling cannabis would be a big mistake, activists say.” 

As a Schedule 1 narcotic, cannabis is considered on par with heroin and LSD in the eyes of the federal government. “We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl. It makes no sense,” Biden tweeted on Oct. 6. Although advocates welcome the opportunity to review the drug’s classification, they are quick to point out that simply reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule 2 or 3 narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act could bring unintended consequences.

While moving cannabis to Schedule 2 would open the door for more research, cannabis would still be illegal for recreational use and fall under the purview of U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, which could jeopardize state-regulated marijuana markets.

“If we leave marijuana on the controlled substances list, we could never get over the hurdle of allowing the recreational use of marijuana in the United States,” Hendricks, the former chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Cannabis Law Section, told Metro Times. “Changing the scheduling of marijuana doesn’t change the framework for adult use. All of these states that have taken action, like Michigan, to create a framework for the regulation of marijuana, all of those probably go out of the window [if marijuana is classified as Schedule 2].”

Cannabis advocates point out that roughly two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of cannabis and another 72 percent support removing cannabis from its Schedule 1 classification.

“Getting Congress to focus on rescheduling is no simple task,” said Hendricks, who serves as co-chair of Warner’s Cannabis Industry Group. “If the president is willing to say publicly that this doesn’t make sense and we should look at this, it’s an invitation for Congress to look at it more seriously. And maybe, just maybe we can get some substantial changes. Maybe sensible people will say, ‘Let’s leave it up to the states and deschedule.’ We need to keep the conversation on this.”

Read the full article on Metro Times here.

Hendricks brings almost four decades of commercial law experience to a broad range of business types and owners that seek entity formation, real estate, tax planning, contracting and other assistance. Since 2013, he has also been cultivating both a state-level leadership role and a prominent practice in the area of legal cannabis commerce, which now comprises the majority of his practice. Hendricks represents growers, retailers, processors, labs and secure transporters who directly participate in marijuana enterprises in Michigan, as well as those businesses that provide ancillary goods and services to the industry. As new growth and distribution systems are established and continue to expand, Bob helps clients smoothly navigate the process in accordance with Michigan’s legal and regulatory framework. Learn more about his practice here.

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