According to the Santa Monica Observer:

“The DEA will officially reclassify cannabis as a prescription-only, Schedule II drug on Aug. 1, 2016, a report published a few hours ago claims. If true, that means medical marijuana could be legal by prescription — and perhaps only by prescription — in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US territories” regardless of any current individual state cannabis legislation.

In speaking with Richard Batenburg, Jr, the fund manager with Cliintel Capital Group, he had the following observations:

“I’m aware of no cannabis legislation that passed the first time it was proposed.” This means that even if the statement above is true, Batenburg feels that the likelihood of this passing has a low percentage chance however it would be an overall positive event for the industry.

Various concerns are brought up such as:

Who will enforce and/or control cannabis?

Will cannabis product be FDA regulated?

Isn’t the FDA overloaded as is, taking years if not decades and billions of dollars to bring products to market?

Batenburg also feels that “there is nothing bad about the announcement.”  Matter of fact, he discusses the positives of the potential change.

First of all, various licensed professionals who service the Cannabis industry will no longer be at risk. For years attorneys, accountants, CPA’s and physicians have chosen not to be involved in the industry due to fears about having their credentials revoked or being prosecuted. Net result… more service providers available to the industry lowering costs and widening margins.

Dispensaries and grows have been plagued with finding a “marijuana lawyer.” And those attorneys were few and far between.  Industry participants, particularly those who ‘touch the plant’ will receive more traditional pricing from not only professional service providers but landlords and contractors as well, “the playing field would widen and price gouging would have to cease as alternative service providers emerge” states Batenburg.

With virtually all physicians able to “prescribe” Cannabis products to patients availability increases and stigma decreases.  The decrease in stigma, increase in availability, consistency, safety and reliability will then fuel the growth in adult use of cannabis products.  The revenue from adult use can then be funneled back into research to further exploit the medicinal uses of the cannabis plant and its extracts.

Cliintel Capital Group is a private equity fund that invests in emerging technologies and marketplaces.