US House: Republican-Led Committee Directs Biden Administration to Explain Marijuana Rescheduling Decision

The House Appropriations Committee has released a report directing the Department of Health and Human Services to explain their decision to recommend marijuana be moved to Schedule III.

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the 2025 appropriations bill for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, which includes language that would block the Biden Administration’s effort to reschedule marijuana. Now, the committee has released a report for the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food, and Drug Administration appropriations bill, which states that the Committee “is concerned about deviations from established drug scheduling evaluation standards in the FDA 2023 marijuana scheduling review.”

The report says the Committee “directs the HHS Inspector General to complete a report on the 2023 marijuana scheduling review including but not limited to: deviations from the established five-factor currently accepted medical use test, justification for a new, two-factor currently accepted medical use test and whether this will be the standard for all future reviews, use of a limited number of hand-selected comparator substances, and inclusion of research results that are not statistically significant or inconclusive.”

The report notes that the Committee “is concerned about reports of the mental health hazards of regular use of high-potency marijuana, particularly among adolescents. The Committee encourages the FDA to support research on high-potency marijuana and its effects on the adolescent brain, specifically regarding addiction and mental illness such as schizophrenia or psychosis.”

The committee’s reports for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill include similar language.

While Republicans attempt to block marijuana rescheduling, it continues to move forward. There are now less than two weeks remaining in the legally required 60-day public comment period, with over 28,000 comments submitted. Yesterday, an official with the DEA told us that marijuana is on track to be rescheduled before October.

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