In a move that could pave the way for more marijuana research and therapeutic use, a United Nations commission decided on Wednesday to remove cannabis for medical use from a category of the world's most dangerous drugs, The New York Times reported.
The vote by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was wide-ranging, but most of the attention was on a highly anticipated and long-delayed decision to remove cannabis from a list of dangerous and highly addictive opioids such as heroin.
Although experts cautioned that the move will not immediately loosen international controls, Marijuana Business Daily journalist Alfredo Pascual told the Times that the change in the U.N. classification would eventually bolster legalization efforts worldwide, as its previous categorization was a deterrent to research.
Industry insiders have expressed optimism that the move will open the field for research into the therapeutic benefits of the drug.
The recommendations to remove cannabis for medical use from a category of the world's most dangerous drugs was first made by the World Health Organization in 2019 but has been highly controversial and led to delays in adopting the suggestions.
However, Cowen, an investment and financial services company, said the market for medical and recreational marijuana is expected to expand to more than $34 billion by 2025 in the United States after more states legalized its use in the recent election.
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