Billion-Dollar Opportunities in Marijuana Drugs
Who says Americans can’t agree on anything? According to the latest polls, public support in the U.S. for the legalization of marijuana has risen to nearly 70%, including the majority of both Republicans and Democrats.
Considering the political divisions in our country, support north of 60% is quite broad. In the U.S., the use of cannabis for medical purposes is legal in 37 states, and more states are on track to lift restrictions.
Efforts to legalize marijuana federally for medical and recreational use have stalled in Congress. But hope is not lost. The Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is friendly to the cause.
The roadblock, the Senate, is currently working on coming up with a version of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act that could get enough votes to pass. At the state level, nearly 40 states have already approved medical use of marijuana.
Valuable Medical Use
No matter what your opinion on recreational use, cannabis has been clinically shown to have medical benefits. There’s big money to be had in the field of pharmaceutical cannabinoids (drugs derived from ingredients in marijuana).
Case in point: GW Pharmaceuticals made history in 2018 when its epilepsy drug Epidiolex became the first cannabinoid to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
GW Pharmaceuticals was bought out by Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ: JAZZ) last year for $7.2 billion, a pivotal deal that sent shock waves throughout the marijuana sector and triggered a wave of consolidation among pot firms.
Epidiolex generated more than $460 million in 2021 sales. It treats epileptic seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).
The drug contains cannabidiol (CBD), which is a purified substance extracted from marijuana, and it was deemed safe enough by the FDA to be used by even toddlers.
LGS and DS are both epilepsy-causing genetic disorders that usually begin to show symptoms in infancy. They are very difficult to treat, but the use of Epidiolex is found to significantly reduce the frequency of seizures.
TSC is another genetic disorder. It causes non-malignant tumors to grow on the brain or other vital organs, which in turn can lead to seizures and intellectual and behavior problems and other serious health issues. Epidiolex helps manage the seizure symptoms.
Only Natural Cannabinoid Approved So Far
Jazz is currently working on treating other disorders with cannabinoids, including schizophrenia and autism. For the price it paid, Jazz is certainly going to look to squeeze out more money from the GW assets.
So far, Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved drug that contains ingredients derived from marijuana, but with ongoing research, there will likely be more such drugs hitting the market in the years ahead.
Additionally, there are two FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoid drugs on the market. This means that they are human-made chemical-based drugs designed to mimic the effects of real cannabis.
There is Cesamet, owned by Bausch Health (NYSE: BHC), which treats nausea and vomiting in cancer patients caused by chemotherapy.
The second drug, Marinol, owned by Indian company Alkem Laboratories, also treats nausea and vomiting caused by chemo treatment. What’s more, it’s approved to treat anorexia and weight loss in HIV patients.
Lucrative Opportunities Ahead
As Epidiolex shows, cannabinoids derived directly from the plant can be lucrative. It’s almost midway to $1 billion in sales a year and could very well become a blockbuster (i.e., $1 billion or more).
There are an estimated 30 late-stage clinical trials investigating cannabinoids, so over the next few years we could see an explosion of the market. Note that the most common medical use of marijuana is to manage pain, and so far there’s no approved marijuana drug for pain yet.
Thus, the marijuana market is not only about planting and supplying the plant. Derivatives products, including medicine, are poised to become billion-dollar opportunities as well. The time for investors to get aboard the “green rush” is now.
A Note From The Publisher: Our colleague Scott Chan just provided you with valuable insights into the money-making potential of marijuana.
As Scott explained, marijuana represents a powerful investment megatrend. As legalization of marijuana gathers steam around the world, sales of weed are skyrocketing and investors are getting rich. But pot stocks can be risky; you need to be selective.
That’s why we’re offering you a new book: The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics, written by our editorial director, John Persinos. The product of years of painstaking research, John’s book is now available in hard copy. John also is the editor-in-chief of our publication, Marijuana Investing Daily.
The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics is your one-stop primer for profiting from the booming marijuana and psychedelics industries. Click here for your free copy.