The DEA schedules substances, chemicals, and drugs into 5 classified categories. Between Schedule 1 to 5, the level of potential for abuse gets more likely as the number goes down; so Schedule 1 is listed as the most dangerous for the public and Schedule 5 the least. A Schedule 1 drug has been identified by the government as a substance with no potential for medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. Aside from cannabis, Schedule I also includes ecstasy, peyote, and heroin. This DEA scheduling federally makes cannabis highly illegal to carry without the proper permits and bars any scientific research on the medicinal value of the plant.
The DEA has been pushing back their announcement on rescheduling cannabis (to Schedule 2) for the last couple of months. Last week, they announced that cannabis would remain Schedule 1 which has equally angered and saddened the cannabis community. Not only does this continue the war on patients that has been raging across the country, but the negative effects of federal restrictions are more severe than cocaine and oxycodone with every aspect of the plant—from research to marketing.
One of the biggest problems that cannabis has faced is a lack of scientific research. Being classified as Schedule I, any relevant scientific research outside of cannabis that comes from a sterile government garden is carried out by only a few government approved scientists. Real scientific research feeds an educational marketing platform for the industry. The ability to prove that the plant has medicinal value and move past a Schedule I classification is being blocked by that same classification. If and when the feds finally reschedule cannabis, we will be able to partake in valuable research that will only fuel marketing efforts.
There would be a bounty of research to fuel new content that will bring in an entirely unaccessed target demographic. Education-based platforms are the only way to ensure that no target client is left out of a marketing campaign. Currently, cannabis education is just conjecture or experiential. With real and hard data proving the medicinal value of cannabis, the entire industry could change.