DEA Takes Baby Steps, but Cannabis Industry is Ready to Walk.

Since we launched C2G, several momentous events have occurred in the industry as we enter the election cycle. First and foremost, the DEA released a long-awaited decision whether or not it would reclassify marijuana (MJ) from a Schedule 1 narcotic, meaning they consider it as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than the Schedule 2 crystal meth.

As in the past, it failed to lower MJ’s classification. A lower classification would have been a logical next step in a process of decriminalization and legalization, since 25 states plus the District of Columbia have already approved the use of medicinal marijuana. In its decision, the DEA stated that marijuana has “no accepted medical use.” At last count, MJ is being used to treat more than 120 ailments, in some instances more effectively, with fewer side effects, less risk of addiction, or at lower cost than other medications. WebMD, the most popular consumer site for medical research, also cites MJ as treatment for many ailments. And clearly, half of the United States already disagrees with the DEA, moving forward on their own.

Since launching cannabiz, it is remarkable how many in the industry have called to tell us of friends or family members who are being treated with cannabis. But what does the DEA’s ruling mean for C2G? In our opinion, it has little bearing on the medicinal marijuana market in the short term. States can and will proceed on their own. Our research shows that 90% of US adults favor legalization of medicinal marijuana.

And meanwhile, the DEA will allow researchers to obtain MJ through legitimate commercial establishments, ending the longstanding monopoly that the State of Mississippi has on supply of cannabis for medical research. The DEA is allowing research to accelerate …. Clearly this is an industry that is going to take baby steps until someone has the political courage to show it how to walk.

Meanwhile, Marijuana Business Daily reports that three companies have already made the Inc. 500 list, themselves among them. Investment in the industry is only accelerating with many high-profile and celebrity investors entering the market. Baby steps indeed.