The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is recommending cannabis be reclassified as less risky, people familiar with the matter have said — a move that could help the legal marijuana industry benefit from tax breaks.

Several steps remain before marijuana can be taken off Schedule I, where it’s listed with the world’s most dangerous drugs like heroin, and put on Schedule III, which is for less risky drugs with a medical use, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information hasn’t yet been made public. This would ease access to cannabis for patients and researchers studying its medical applications without decriminalizing it. The production, distribution and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes would remain illegal under federal law.

The effort, which could still collapse, comes almost 30 years after California legalized medical marijuana. More than half of the U.S. population is now able to buy pot under a state-by-state patchwork of voter-driven laws.