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Word that the Biden administration plans to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 3 substance signifies the end of the beginning of the U.S. cannabis industry. 

After decades of plowing through a myriad of complications associated with buying and selling a federally illegal substance, cannabis operators licensed in forty or so states now have an unofficial green light from the highest office in the land to do their business. 

While the most direct changes of Rescheduling will be in the areas of 280e reform – which will open up tax credits for operators large and small – and an expansion of federal research and testing on the plant, the more symbolic and enduring change will be how cannabis is repositioned within other legal, political and financial arenas.

Take SAFER Banking for instance. What prior to Rescheduling would have required a political Hail Mary to get both branches of congress to pass legislation enabling federally-insured financial institutions to serve the industry now seems increasingly plausible. In 2024 anything in national politics – and cannabis – is possible. Senators or members of the House of Representatives previously wavering on SAFER Banking have more reason to vote yes. 

Voters in Florida in November will decide on whether that multibillion dollar limited licensed market opens up for adult use. Do we think Rescheduling will make those begging for permission to patronize the plant more or less inclined to vote in favor of increased legalization when they punch their ballots?

On the capital front, Rescheduling opens the gateway for canna-curious investors and corporations looking to fund existing and future cannabis enterprises. Companies with a higher risk tolerance may in fact begin to use Rescheduling as a normalizing precedent to justify and defend their investments in the space.

Stay tuned on all of that. In the meantime, if you are currently in the industry enjoy this moment of relief after several months of buzzkilling news. If you aspiring to get in, now could be the perfect time to join the cannabis industry. 

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.