It is now official. The UN has voted to de-classify marijuana as a schedule IV drug where it has previously ranked for the last decades alongside other dangerous drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, and other opioids. Following a public vote from the United Nations, marijuana is now recognized as a medicine. However, the vote was without opposition. The Commission for Narcotic Drugs (CND) passed the vote 27 to 25. Countries that voted in favor of this significant change include the US, Australia, Jamaica, and several European Nations. Countries such as Pakistan, China, Russia, and Egypt voted in opposition.
What Does That Mean for The Medical Marijuana Research Industry?
So, what does this declassification of marijuana mean to stakeholders, investors, and scientific researchers of medical cannabis? Many people agree that more research about the medical benefits of marijuana is still needed. With marijuana no longer under the classification of schedule IV drugs in the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs international treaty, it paves the way for many countries to reconsider their cannabis laws. According to experts in the medical marijuana research sector, such as Christian Ellul, the recent declassification will see more scientific research into the cannabis plant and more legalization efforts worldwide.
That doesn’t mean that the international cannabis laws will be loosened, at least not yet. However, the recent declassification paves the way for drug policy reforms since such global conventions act as a basis and guide for restructuring laws. Therefore, it is not yet time to take your celebratory week smoke to the streets, but there is a ray of hope.
This recent change comes from the 2019 recommendation by WHO (World Health Organization), which suggested that the UN reconsider its stance regarding medical marijuana. That was to set clear guidelines in terms of its medical benefits and its harms. For many countries, the declassification of marijuana presents yet another instance of the failed war on drugs. For example, in 2020, we have seen Oregon and Vancouver decriminalize all kinds of drugs, while New Zealand legalized pill testing during music festivals.
However, many people’s perception of marijuana continues to change. Scientific researches have changed the way many people see marijuana, and they are slowly accepting the apparent benefits of medical marijuana. For instance, in the United States, it is considered an illegal substance by the federal government. Still, some states have legalized medical marijuana with several regulations in place to control its use. The stigma is shedding off gradually, and it appears as if cannabis is on its way to the mainstream. In the overall consumer market, governments and the media have a significant role to play. If there will be more legalization of marijuana, the focus should be to spread more information and awareness of the benefits of medical marijuana.
Since this recent change is more likely to cause an explosion of marijuana products, researchers and experts continue to wonder what the market will look like in the next couple of years. Will big corporations flood the market with generic and cheap cannabis products? According to Ryan Stoa, the author of ‘Craft Weed’ and a law professor at Concordia University, that may be impossible because there are different cannabis strains. Again, regulators play a role in limiting the number of marijuana farms permitted in a particular region.
The Bottom Line
The recent declassification of marijuana certainly opens the way for medical marijuana research, which is a good prospect for the health sector.