Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stirred up a significant controversy when he appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and smoked weed, making it the most-watched episode of the podcast. The incident did not go without consequences as it led to Musk being subject to a year-long series of random drug tests due to federal regulations and SpaceX’s federal contracts.
The Fallout for Musk and SpaceX
In a 2022 interview, Musk disclosed the negative repercussions of his on-air marijuana consumption. He revealed that SpaceX
had federal contracts and since weed is federally illegal, the aftermath was far from positive. This led to him being subjected to random drug tests for an entire year to disprove any allegations of drug addiction.
Despite the legalization of cannabis in several states, it still remains classified as a Schedule I substance at the federal level according to the Controlled Substances Act.
Potential Rescheduling of Marijuana
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act, citing scientific and medical evaluations as the basis for this recommendation. This transition would position marijuana in a category with a potential for less abuse than substances in Schedules I and II, alongside a recognized medical purpose and lower physical dependence but higher psychological dependence compared to substances in Schedules I and II.
The recommendation made by the FDA holds the potential to significantly impact the cannabis industry, potentially signaling a new era for its regulation and market.
The Lucrative Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry has already seen substantial growth, with the U.S. cannabis market reaching a value of $13.2 billion in 2022. Forecasts project a continued upward trajectory, anticipating a compound annual growth rate of 14.2% from 2023 to 2030, according to Grand View Research.
The reclassification of marijuana could have significant implications for the industry, driving further growth and potentially altering the regulatory landscape.
Elon Musk’s weed smoke on a podcast led to unforeseen consequences, highlighting the clash between state and federal regulations regarding cannabis. The proposed reclassification of marijuana by the FDA holds the potential to reshape the industry, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate surrounding marijuana’s legal status and its implications for businesses and consumers alike.
Find out more about our sources here.