Biden health agency recommends classifying marijuana as lower-risk, opening potential for major policy changes

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now recommending that marijuana be moved to a lower-risk classification under federal law, a move that could have major implications for medical research into cannabis as well drug legalisation efforts.

The agency is offering a non-binding recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to downgrade marijuana from its current status as a Schedule I drug, indicating a treatment with high abuse potential and no medical value, to a lower Schedule III status under the Controlled Substances Act, Bloomberg reports.

Cannabis would still be prohibited under federal law, but moving it to a lower-risk status would make it much easier for researchers to investigate its properties.

The recommendation came in a letter from Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine to the DEA, according to Bloomberg.

President Biden ordered HHS to conduct a scientific review regarding cannabis last year.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information.