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On May 21, 2024, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (FR) to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This announcement comes nearly a year after the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) August 29, 2023 letter to the DEA recommending that marijuana be rescheduled. It also follows an April 11, 2024 opinion letter from the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel that the United States' international treaty obligations do not prevent rescheduling marijuana. The proposed rule represents the most significant policy shift for marijuana since the passage of the CSA in 1970, which categorized marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance.
The development of psychedelic drugs for medicinal uses has substantially expanded since 2020, as evidenced by an exponential growth in Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) production quotas for both psilocybin and psilocin. In 2024, these quotas grew to 20,000 g and 24,000 g, respectively, from just 30 g and 50 g in 2020.
Last year was a record-breaking one for capital raising in life sciences, and 2021’s first quarter was robust for special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transactions. Now, after a second-quarter SPAC and initial public offering (IPO) slowdown, the outlook for summer SPACs has rebounded just in time for the Morgan Lewis Global Public Academy program, Going Public Through a SPAC: Current Issues for SPAC Sponsors and Private Companies 2021. Our panelists will discuss some of the most important legal issues for companies considering going public through a SPAC and for SPACs seeking an acquisition target. Topics covered will include the use of private investments in public equity (PIPEs), obtaining shareholder approval for a merger, and the required SEC filings and review process.