US Cannabis Market Projected to Reach $72 Billion as DEA Reclassifies Marijuana

The DEA plans to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a move that could lead to a decrease in marijuana-related arrests and interactions with law enforcement. The US cannabis market is projected to reach $58-72 billion by the end of the decade, amid a wave of cannabis legalization sweeping across Europe and beyond.

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Bijay Laxmi
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US Cannabis Market Projected to Reach $72 Billion as DEA Reclassifies Marijuana

US Cannabis Market Projected to Reach $72 Billion as DEA Reclassifies Marijuana

The US cannabis market is projected to reach $58-72 billion by the end of the decade, as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) plans to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug. This move, which would be the most significant US drug policy change in over 50 years, comes amid a wave of cannabis legalization sweeping across Europe and beyond.

Why this matters: The reclassification of marijuana could have far-reaching implications for the criminal justice system, as it could lead to a decrease in marijuana-related arrests and interactions with law enforcement. Additionally, it could pave the way for further research into the medical benefits of cannabis, potentially leading to new treatments and therapies.

As of April 2024, nine countries, including Germany, Malta, and Luxembourg, have legalized recreational cannabis use nationwide. Germany, known for its conservative stance, now allows adults to hold up to 25 grams of cannabis in public and 50 grams at home, as well as cultivate three plants in their back garden.

In the US, the DEA's proposal to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III has been sent to the White House Office on Management and Budget (OMB) and will undergo a public comment period before being reviewed by an administrative judge. Since 1971, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

The reclassification could undercut the vast black market for the drug, leading to a decrease in marijuana arrests and interactions with law enforcement. Dr. Carl Hart, a psychologist and neuroscientist, notes that legalization could drive down the number of marijuana arrests, which have already dropped dramatically in states where it has been legalized.

Public opinion has shifted significantly in favor of legalization, with a Gallup poll finding that 70% of US adults support legalization, compared to 30% in 2000. Dr. Hart attributes this shift to changing perceptions rather than reality. The reclassification proposal comes amid this huge shift in decided, go, cool public opinion and acceptance over marijuana use.

US President Joe Biden has called for a review of federal marijuana laws and pardoned thousands of US marijuana users convicted of simple possession under federal law. Additionally, 21 Democratic lawmakers sent a letter urging the DEA and Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop marijuana from its list of controlled substances entirely and instead treat it like alcohol.

The reclassification of marijuana could ease the tax burden on businesses in the cannabis industry and make government-authorized clinical studies of the drug's medical benefits easier. As the US cannabis market continues its rapid growth and more countries legalize recreational use, the DEA's us, moves, historic move to reclassify marijuana marks a significant turning point in the global perception and acceptance of the drug.

Key Takeaways

  • US cannabis market projected to reach $58-72 billion by decade's end.
  • DEA plans to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a 50-year policy shift.
  • Reclassification could decrease marijuana arrests, enable more medical research.
  • 9 countries, including Germany, have legalized recreational cannabis use nationwide.
  • 70% of US adults support legalization, up from 30% in 2000, according to Gallup poll.