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Biden’s Rescheduling Plan, Canada’s Peyote Plant, & MMJ’s Health Insurance Impact

Biden’s cannabis plans, Lophos Pharma’s Peyote dreams, and a new study pokes a hole in old anti-cannabis talking point.

Let’s dive into this week’s, canna-news.

Advocates Question Biden’s Rescheduling Plan

The Biden administration’s recent recommendation to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) made massive waves. However, not everyone is a fan of the move. While there is no debate that the move is a positive step towards Biden’s promise of decriminalizing cannabis use — advocates say he is not going far enough.

Under the CSA, cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule 1 substance. That means that — according to the government — cannabis is as dangerous as drugs like ecstasy and heroin. Further, it means that the federal government believes that cannabis has no medical uses and that it has a high potential for abuse. Cannabis’ categorization has long been a point of contention with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) itself saying that it should be downgraded to Schedule 3.

As with Biden’s recommendation, however, many believe that simply rescheduling cannabis does nothing to address the racial disparities that have come from cannabis criminalization. Additionally, rescheduling would mean that millions of individuals living in states without legalization would still have no way of accessing the medicine they need. The only way to tackle all these issues, advocates say, is with full federal legalization.

Advocates say that federal legalization would allow the government to introduce crucial social equity measures. This would include things like fully expunging the records of old convicts and providing employment opportunities to these individuals. Above all, advocates wish to see the black and brown communities most affected by cannabis prohibition get a cut of the massive cannabis industry.

What do you think of the Biden administration’s recent rescheduling recommendation? Do you think the president is going far enough? Let us know in the comments!

Lophos Pharma Opens Peyote Facility

Canadian company, Lophos Pharma, is looking to bring peyote to the masses. The company recently opened up a 10,000-square-foot facility in Ontario for the cultivation, sale, and research of peyote.

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In Canada, peyote is under a Schedule 3 classification. Thanks to an exception that says that peyote is fair game as long as mescaline isn’t extracted; however, Lopo Pharma is good to go with their plans.

In their new facility, Lophos Pharma aims to reduce the growth cycle of peyote which typically takes up to 16 years! If successful, Lophos could bring peyote back from the brink of extinction. The company is looking to have its dried peyote buttons up for sale by next summer.

Beyond peyote production and distribution, Lophos Pharma also obtained a license to produce mescaline for research purposes. They hope to conduct research on the chemical composition of mescaline. The goal is to explore the potential effects of mescaline on various mental health issues.

Medical Cannabis & Insurance Premium Study

A new study from the International Journal of Drug Policy has found evidence suggesting that states with legal medical cannabis have experienced reduced health insurance premiums.

The research was conducted by a group of professors from Bowling Green State University, Illinois State University, and Eastern Michigan University. The study analyzed U.S. private health insurance financial data from 2010 to 2021. The data was provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The study found that within seven years of medical cannabis legalization states experienced a reduction in insurance premiums. Here’s how those reductions in premiums broke down:

  • Year 7: $1,662.70 in savings
  • Year 8: $1,541.80 in savings
  • Year 9: $1,6250.80 in savings

These findings challenge old beliefs that cannabis legalization leads to more accidents and increases in health insurance premiums.

What do you think of these findings? Let us know in the comments!

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