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DEA Considers Rescheduling Cannabis: Everything You Need to Know

By January 23, 2024No Comments
DEA Rescheduling Cannabis PR Marketing

Throughout all facets of the cannabis industry, including cannabis-related marketing and PR, there are high hopes that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recent ask of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ease restrictions on cannabis will happen sooner than later.

The talks for the potential rescheduling of marijuana started with President Joe Biden’s October 2022 executive order to the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of the HHS to reexamine the drug’s status under U.S. law. This led to the recommendation by HHS on Aug. 29, 2023, for the DEA to move marijuana from its current status in Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. This means, that if changed, marijuana would be considered to have moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependence.

In early January 2024, HHS released unredacted documents confirming its recommendation to reclassify cannabis and detailing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) reasons for recommending that the DEA change the cannabis classification under the Controlled Substances Act from Schedule I to Schedule III. The DEA, which has final authority on the matter, is currently conducting its own review to make any scheduling decision on marijuana.

What does this mean for not only the cannabis industry itself but all related ancillary services? For starters, marketing and public relations companies such as Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations and marketing agency Durée & Company could work with increased budgets for cannabis marketing and PR, helping clients to significantly increase profitability.

This is because a rescheduling by the DEA would create new tax opportunities. Now, enterprises dealing in Schedule I substances can’t write expenses — such as marketing expenses — off their federal tax returns under the Internal Revenue Service code 280E. If the rescheduling is approved, 280E would be removed. Cannabis retailers, cultivators, processors and more would reap great financial benefits, and budgets for cannabis marketing and PR could increase.

Not only would this rescheduling provide increased business opportunities for all the sectors associated with the cannabis industry, but it would also open research opportunities, protect public health and safety, and lead the way to cannabis being normalized under federal law.

According to industry experts, historically, the DEA has never gone against a scheduling recommendation for the HHS, and a decision should be made before the 2024 presidential election.

As cannabis continues to become more mainstream, we are also keeping a watchful eye on local and federal legislation in 2024. In Florida, where our company headquarters is based, Governor Ron DeSantis stated that the Florida Supreme Court will approve the initiative for Florida’s adult-use marijuana initiative, which can potentially pave the way for the state to vote on legalization in the 2024 ballot. As written, the ballot measure would allow existing medical cannabis dispensaries to start selling to adults 21 and over.

If approved, the marijuana legalization initiative will be featured on November’s ballot alongside the Presidential elections, with Florida potentially joining over 24 U.S. states that have legalized adult-use marijuana despite federal illegality.

Durée & Company is an established PR and marketing presence in the cannabis community, and we understand the ins and outs of the industry. We know how to navigate this ever-changing and growing field, and work with clients who are cultivating, manufacturing, producing and innovating with cannabis, hemp and CBD.

At Durée & Company, we’re optimistic that the DEA will ease restrictions on cannabis in 2024. No matter which route the DEA chooses, we are here to help clients within the cannabis industry navigate the green rush with incredible success. For more information, contact us. We’re changing the game in cannabis PR and marketing.

About Durée & Company, Inc.

Founded in 1999, Durée & Company is a full-service, well-respected and highly creative public relations and marketing agency serving a diverse client base of local, national and international consumer brands, landmark industries, business leaders and philanthropists from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Practice areas include real estate, nonprofit, hospitality, business, lifestyle, health, and wellness, legal, yacht and marine as well as cannabis, psychedelics, and other emerging industries. Durée & Company is a member of some of the nation’s most elite professional organizations including PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI). To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to; or Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on FacebookInstagramX (formerly known as Twitter)YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.


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