Skip to content

Biden’s Promise to Review Pot Laws Leaves Companies in Limbo

  • Review of health risks may take years and outcome is uncertain
  • White House push could give momentum to other legislation
Cannabis plants hang dry at a grow facility near Camarillo, California.
Cannabis plants hang dry at a grow facility near Camarillo, California.Photographer: Jill Connelly/Bloomberg

The marijuana industry’s excitement over President Joe Biden’s call to review the drug’s federal legal status was quickly tempered by uncertainties about what changes would be made and how long they might take.

Biden said Thursday that the US will review its so-called scheduling rules for marijuana because “it makes no sense” that it currently has the same level of restrictions as heroin. Changing that classification involves a review of safety risks and potential health benefits, and could remove roadblocks that have hindered the industry’s growth -- including access to banking and lower tax burdens. That might make it more attractive for institutional investors and companies in the tobacco, alcohol, and food and beverage space.