WSWA Statement On DEA Recommendation To Reclassify Cannabis From A Schedule I To A Schedule III Substance

May 01, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. 05/01/2024 - Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA)  released the following statement on yesterday's recommendation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act:


"While today's reported landmark decision to reclassify cannabis is a step in the right direction to ending the conflict between state and federal law, it further underscores the need for Congress to take critical action and create a clear, comprehensive federal regulatory structure that protects public health and safety and empowers states to regulate cannabis products.


Since the enactment of the 21st Amendment, a safe, consumer-centric and economically vibrant marketplace has developed — one that serves the dual needs of regulators and consumers. WSWA continues to strongly believe that the core features of federal alcohol regulation should be the model upon which to build a federal cannabis regulatory system."


Last year, the association updated its Principles for Comprehensive Federal Legalization and Oversight of the Adult-use Cannabis Supply Chain, alongside an announcement of commitment to actively advocate on the issue – the first in the alcohol industry to do so. WSWA’s framework is built on four principles drawing on long-established federal laws governing the alcohol industry. With an emphasis on public safety and accountability, this system will provide a transparent and effective framework for adult-use cannabis production, testing, distribution and tax collecting.


WSWA’s Principles for Comprehensive Federal Legalization and Oversight of the Adult-use Cannabis Supply Chain are rooted in four pillars:


1. The federal permitting of cannabis producers, importers, testing facilities and distributors.
2. The federal approval and regulation of "cannabis products and product labels"
3. The efficient and effective collection of federal excise tax.
4. Effective federal measures to ensure public safety.