A man is seen, from behind, transplanting a cannabis plant

(Photo by Yenitza Melgoza)

September 06, 2023

SIU prof: Reclassifying cannabis would benefit businesses

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Gary Kinsel, professor in the School of Chemical and Biochemical Sciences and director of the Cannabis Science Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is available to speak to media outlets about the reported recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the DEA to reclassify marijuana as a less-controlled Schedule III substance and the potential impact on shifting norms and laws.

“It would affect rather significantly the tax options for cannabis businesses, and it might impact the criminal penalties in states that have not legalized cannabis,” Kinsel said. “At SIU, we research hemp. Conducting research on cannabis requires a DEA controlled substance license. In the state of Illinois, it is currently not possible for a university to get this license because a mechanism does not yet exist. To my understanding, rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I narcotics to Schedule III, essentially prescription medicine, will not alter this requirement.”

Marijuana currently is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, alongside drugs such as LSD and heroin, which the agency says have large potential for abuse and likely no medicinal value.

SIU’s Cannabis Science Center focuses on establishing collaborative research and garnering research dollars to study hemp, cannabis and related issues. Faculty work in a multidisciplinary environment, looking at the agricultural, biomedical, health care-related, educational and commercial interests in the plants.

On Sept. 9, the center will host a daylong cannabis symposium at the Student Center. (Read the press release about the symposium for more information.)

To set up an interview, please contact Kim Rendfeld at kim.rendfeld@siu.edu or 765-426-3650 (cell).