May 29, 2024

Overwhelming Support for Schedule III On Display in Public Comment Period

Written by
Cy Scott
Published on
May 29, 2024
Vapor pen icon
Interested in the vapor pen market? Read our comprehensive 2023 report. Get the low-down on which brands and form factors are gaining the most market share as well as demographics about the consumers doing the most purchasing.

The recent initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III has sparked a flurry of public comments and discussions about the potential impact on the cannabis industry and society as a whole. At Headset, we recognize the significance of this moment, and being a data company, couldn’t resist doing a bit of an analysis on the comments published so far. We found mentions of Chewbacca, the lyrics of Afroman’s Because I got High and thousands upon thousands of real, truly supportive comments on the federal government finally making a change.

Public Commentary and Analysis

On May 20, 2024, the public comment period opened for the proposed rescheduling of cannabis. In just over a week, there have already been more than 7,000 comments submitted. The comments are readily accessible and worth a look.

Our analysis includes data from May 21 through May 29, 2024, classifying the over 7,000 comments as “For”, “Against” or “N/A”. An overwhelming 97% are positive comments, proponents of federal change - we also included calls to ‘deschedule’ as a For vote when it comes to changing the federal scheduling (in the analysis, a For indication is that they are For loosening federal rescheduling).

Overwhelming support for Schedule 3 in comment period

The peak of support occurred on May 23, with an impressive 2,657 comments in favor, indicating a significant surge in public interest and approval. Throughout the period, opposition remained relatively low, with the highest daily count of dissenting comments reaching only 54. Despite daily fluctuations in engagement, the overall trend suggests strong public backing for the proposed regulation, with a clear majority of individuals voicing their support and minimal controversy or backlash among those who commented.

88% support legalization but 96.7% support removing cannabis from Schedule 1

These results shouldn’t come as a big surprise, as a recent Pew Research study conducted in January 2024 reveals that around nine-in-ten Americans believe marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use. The survey found that 88% of U.S. adults support either medical-only legalization (32%) or both medical and recreational legalization (57%), while only 11% oppose legalization in any form. The study also highlighted differences in views on marijuana legalization across age groups, political parties, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Support for legalization has increased dramatically over the past two decades, with Gallup's 2023 survey showing that 70% of adults favored legalization, compared to just 31% in 2000.

The Importance of Your VoiceWith 5-6 weeks remaining in the public comment period (ending July 22), there is still ample time for those passionate about the cannabis industry to make their voices heard. We strongly encourage everyone to submit a comment and share their perspectives on this critical issue. Your input can help shape the future of cannabis policy in the United States. Just follow this link to submit a comment. If you need help with messaging, the legal firm Vicente LLP has provided a helpful template.

Benefits of Rescheduling: A Focus on Research

Moving cannabis to Schedule III will do a few things, but one of the most significant advantages of rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III is the potential to open up research opportunities. For years, opponents of legalization have pointed to the lack of research as a reason to maintain cannabis' Schedule I status. However, this has been a classic "chicken or the egg" problem, as the restrictive scheduling has historically hindered researchers' ability to study the plant and its effects.By moving cannabis to Schedule III, researchers will face fewer barriers and have more flexibility in conducting studies. This could lead to a better understanding of cannabis' medical applications, safety profile, and potential risks, ultimately informing more evidence-based policies and regulations.

A Wealth of Data in Cannabis

With a legal market almost over 10 years old, there is a plethora of data available for researchers with more sure to be unlocked. Research into the demographics of cannabis consumers can provide valuable insights into purchasing patterns, preferences, and potential target markets. Studies can explore factors such as age, gender, income, education level, and geographic location to identify trends and segments within the consumer base. This information can help businesses tailor their products, marketing strategies, and distribution channels to better serve their customers.

Furthermore, research on cannabis potency, extraction methods, and product formats can contribute to the development of standardized and consistent products. By studying the effects of different THC and CBD ratios, as well as the impact of various extraction techniques (e.g., CO2, ethanol, or hydrocarbon), researchers can optimize the therapeutic potential of cannabis while minimizing adverse effects. This knowledge can also inform the creation of new product formats, such as edibles, tinctures, topicals, and concentrates, to meet the diverse needs and preferences of medical and adult-use consumers.In addition, research into cannabis pricing and market dynamics can help policymakers and businesses make informed decisions.

By analyzing factors such as supply and demand, production costs, taxation, and competition, researchers can develop models to predict market trends and optimize pricing strategies. This information can also guide the development of equitable and sustainable cannabis policies that balance public health, social justice, and economic growth objectives.Ultimately, the increased research opportunities afforded by rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III can contribute to a more robust, data-driven, and consumer-centric cannabis industry. By leveraging insights from studies on demographics, potency, extraction methods, product formats, and pricing, stakeholders can make evidence-based decisions that prioritize public health, consumer satisfaction, and industry growth.

Ready to Make an Impact?

As we navigate this exciting and transformative time in the cannabis industry, Headset remains committed to providing data-driven insights and keeping our readers informed. Together, we can work towards a safer, more scientifically grounded, and thriving cannabis industry -- and we can all start by leaving a comment before July 22, 2024.

Subscribe To Headset
Stay up-to-date on everything happening in the cannabis economy:
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Join over +3,500 cannabis companies

Stay ahead of your competition & achieve long-term success in the cannabis industry.