DEA Official Reaffirms Marijuana on Track to be Moved to Schedule III by October

According to an official with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the agency’s proposal to reschedule marijuana is still on track to be finalized by October, most likely in September.

On May 21, the DEA published its proposal to move marijuana to Schedule III in the Federal Register, launching a legally mandated 60-day public comment period. Once this period ends on July 22, the DEA will analyze the comments and determine a final ruling, which will also be published in the Federal Register—a process that can take weeks or months.

On May 29, an official at the DEA told us that the agency aims to complete the review of comments “within 60 days” at the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s office, with a final decision coming soon after. The official says it’s possible the review could be completed even quicker, with a finalized ruling coming “by the end of September, but as soon as the end of August.”

Today, the official reaffirmed that marijuana is on track to be moved to Schedule III by the end of September.

“Everything I’ve seen and heard leads me to believe the process will move swiftly once the comment period is finalized, particularly since only a small percentage of comments oppose the change,” the official told us. “I still believe we will see rescheduling happen before October, possibly as soon as the end of August.”

As we previously reported, the official asked to remain anonymous, and we were not able to verify their statements. However, we independently confirmed that the individual does work for the DEA. The same official informed us in January that the DEA was on track to reschedule marijuana by the end of summer, correctly predicting that a rescheduling announcement “could come even sooner” than the summer (the Department of Justice confirmed the move on April 30).

As of July 9, there has been 28,000 comments submitted on the DEA’s rescheduling proposal, with less than 10% in support of keeping marijuana a Schedule I drug.

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