Rescheduling Cannabis and Its Broad Ripple Effects Part 6

Beyond Legislation: The Societal Shifts in Health, Housing, and Employment from Cannabis Rescheduling

Welcome to the concluding part of our series, “The New Frontier: Rescheduling Cannabis and Its Broad Ripple Effects.” In this final installment, we examine the rescheduling of cannabis through a societal lens, focusing on its impacts on health, housing, and employment. As cannabis moves from Schedule I to Schedule III, the implications extend beyond regulatory changes, influencing public health policy, housing rights, and employment practices.

Health Impacts

  1. Increased Medical Acceptance and Research: With cannabis now recognized for its medical benefits, there is a potential increase in its acceptance within the medical community. This change facilitates more comprehensive research into cannabis’s therapeutic properties, potentially leading to new medical treatments and improved patient outcomes.
  2. Public Health Perspectives: The rescheduling may shift public health approaches towards cannabis use. We might see more informed discussions around its risks and benefits, leading to better education and prevention strategies that address cannabis use without stigmatizing users.
  3. Impact on Prescription Practices: Healthcare providers may now have more freedom to prescribe cannabis for conditions where its use is beneficial, leading to a potential decrease in the prescription of more addictive pharmaceuticals like opioids.

Housing Impacts

  1. Federal Housing Policies: Previously, individuals using cannabis could face difficulties in accessing federally assisted housing due to its Schedule I status. With the rescheduling, there is a pathway for revising these policies, potentially allowing legal cannabis users to qualify for federal housing assistance without discrimination.
  2. Reevaluation of Tenant Rights: The change might prompt a reevaluation of tenant rights in states where cannabis is legally consumed. This could protect tenants from eviction based solely on the legal use of cannabis, aligning state laws with federal regulations.

Employment Impacts

  1. Workplace Drug Policies: Rescheduling cannabis may lead companies to reconsider their drug testing policies, especially in states where cannabis use is legal. Employers might shift focus from penalizing legal use to addressing impairment on the job, fostering a more fair and practical approach.
  2. Employment Opportunities: The cannabis industry’s growth could create new jobs, from cultivation and distribution to research and retail. The formal recognition of cannabis’s medical use can also stimulate job growth in medical research and healthcare sectors.
  3. Legal Protections for Employees: As legal perspectives on cannabis evolve, employees may see enhanced protections against discrimination based on medical cannabis use, particularly in states with legal frameworks supporting such use.

As we conclude our series, it is clear that the rescheduling of cannabis introduces significant shifts not only within the regulatory and economic realms but also in how it affects health, housing, and employment across the United States. These changes present opportunities for progress in public health, social justice, and economic development. Stakeholders from all sectors—medical, legal, and business—must engage collaboratively to navigate these shifts effectively, ensuring that the benefits of cannabis rescheduling are realized broadly and equitably.

Sandy Suchoff, CPA,

Certified CFO, Certified Tax Planner, Exit Planning Strategist

The Canna CPAs

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