ACC Central Florida

DEA’s Proposed Marijuana Rescheduling: Legal Implications for Businesses

DEA’s Proposed Marijuana Rescheduling: Legal Implications for Businesses

RumbergerKirk attorneys provided an interactive, fun, and informative presentation on the DEA’s proposed rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act.  They shared the significant implications to all businesses, including drug free workplace policies, discrimination issues, and potential accommodations for marijuana usage by employees and customers. 

In addition, the attorneys discussed the history of marijuana regulation and the current research, the next steps in the rescheduling process and expected timeline, and the specific effects that you can expect – and prepare for – with your business.

Key takeaways from the presentation included:

  • If marijuana is reclassified from a schedule I drug to a schedule III drug, employers may no longer be able to automatically reject employee accommodation requests to use medical marijuana.  Consequently, employers should review their employee handbooks to ensure that ADA policies are consistent with this reclassification.
  • Reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug will ultimately lead to more employees and customers using medical marijuana, since it would allow doctors to write prescriptions for drugs that are derived from or incorporate marijuana.  However, there is unlikely to be immediate changes given the lengthy time frame for new drugs to be approved by the FDA.
  • The potential reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III substance presents an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to obtain trademark and patent protection within the cannabis industry. Accordingly, it is imperative that businesses develop and adopt a strategy for the management and protection of their intellectual property (IP) portfolios.

The interactive CLE included happy hour and entertainment in Orlando’s newly renovated offices for members of ACC Central Florida.