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Could Legalized Pot Give Big Pharma a Much-Needed Boost?

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If the U.S. government ever legalizes marijuana, sales of the drug would probably make the $11 billion Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) raked in on Lipitor worldwide last year look like chump change.

Consider that medical marijuana sales in the U.S. already will reach $1.7 billion this year, with nearly $250 million coming from Colorado, according to a report released in March. Further, the report predicts that medical marijuana sales will reach $8.9 billion if 20 more states allow its sale for medical use. Medical marijuana markets currently exist in Colorado and six other states and will open this year in five more.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. If people could use marijuana without the fear of getting busted, some industry observers say the market would likely be in the $10 billion-to-$40 billion range-and could even top $100 billion annually.

Given the dollars at stake, it's easy to see why your best known purveyor of pills, Big Pharma, wants in on the action. And recent developments indicate that sometime in the not-too-distant future they may be competing with your friendly neighborhood pot dealer.

Just last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration said 55 unnamed companies have been granted licenses to grow cannabis in the United States. Observers say the pharmaceutical companies need the pot farms to cultivate weed so they can produce a generic version of the THC pill Marinol, which is currently marketed by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI ), and at least one other cannabis-based pill for a wide variety of new uses.

It's thought that pharmaceutical researchers are using THC, cannabis' main psychoactive ingredient, as well as the number-two cannabinoid, CBD, in studies to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, fibromyalgia, PTSD, and even irritable bowel syndrome. That's because pot modulates a newly discovered yet primal-cell signaling pathway called "the endocannabinoid system," with special effects in the brain and the gut.

But to grow pot and put organic THC and CBD in pills, the DEA to would need to move organic THC down from Schedule I, where it is now, to the far less restrictive Schedule III, where synthetic THC Marinol currently resides. That's exactly what drug companies have requested. And by all indications, their wish is likely to be granted.

These developments have sparked outrage among advocates for legalizing marijuana. They wonder why big companies will be able to grow pot, put it in a pill and call it medicine while those who grow it at home or in a city-permitted pot farm face felony charges and jail. Good point. But welcome to the world of big business, where large companies have high-powered lobbyists pleading their cases in Congress every day.

So which companies are among the fortunate 55 starting up their own pot farms? Probably Watson. Another likely candidate is Valeant Pharmceutical International (NYSE: VRX ), which has a THC prescription drug marketed under the name Cesamet. You can probably add the list such Big Pharma names as Pfizer, Merck (NYSE: MRK), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), and Bristol Myers-Squibb (NYSE: BMY). Novartis (NYSE: NVS) is probably in there, too, considering the company once tested a cannabinoid agonist to treat chronic pain.

Rather than speculate on which companies will emerge as the leaders in the marijuana industry, investors just might want to wait for the Pharmaceutical Pot ETF. It can't be far off.


News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: investorplace.com
Author: Barry Cohen
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: InvestorPlace Media, LLC
Website: Could Legalized Pot Give Big Pharma a Much-Needed Boost?
 

Captain Kronic

Member of the Month: July 2011
I will never EVER take my MJ meds from a pharmacy or any Gov agency. I have always said that the only way they will ever allow it is when they can figure out how to make the money... they don't give a popcorn fart about the medical needs of Joe citizen... sneaky bastards... fuck'em!

I have absolutely nothing but distrust for our Gov... what a joke!

Besides... I can do a better job of producing my own shit... top shelf!
 

420 News

New Member
I dislike big pharma in a huge way, having had horrible experiences with their meds. I know first hand how dangerous some of their drugs are, they almost killed me more than once. My mom too. I still do battle with Celexa withdrawals daily.
What gets my goat is the double standard. Companies, which are made up of American citizens(usually) can grow Cannabis now, yet no one else can. There is something horribly wrong and unjust about that. It fills me with an almost righteous anger. Is this a way to legalization? Do we get to ride on BP's coat tails? I doubt it. And I don't want to. Is the gov. going to listen to B.P. before it's own citizens? I think so. I bet the D.E.A is going to re-schedule it for them, and not for anyone else.
And I am going to stop right there, so I don't get all worked up and say something stupid. I urge everyone to email/write/call their respective governor's/state reps/legislators and voice your disapproval. Email the WH. It may not do any good, but if we don't try.... We are our own lobbyists, and we owe it to ourselves to do something. Don't try, just do it.
 

tannter1477

New Member
This would make sense. with the fed,s claiming that they will not use federal resources to go after patients that use MMJ and are in clear and ambiguous standings with state laws. on the other hand they said nothing of the sort about what they were going to do with those that supplied these med,s. therefor that would explain the raids and the threats on dispensary and state officials that support and regulated dispensaries. simply put the feds want big pharm. to collect all the monies and pay them and them only. this will not only cut the middle man (states) out of the equation but will stop all state job creation in its tracks. the fed,s once again are over stepping there reach of the law for the sake of profits and greed. only in America folks. this will be yet again decided in the court room. meanwhile millions of Americans will have to weight for the outcome without these drugs. and the DEA thugs will continue to kill innocent needy Americans for simply trying to relieve there pain and suffering. this shit needs to stop.
 

Captain Kronic

Member of the Month: July 2011
IMNSHO the feds are the big kid on the play ground shouting out threats that they are hardly able to institute on the level they claim they will... WE ARE THE PEOPLE... WE NEED TO BE HEARD ON THIS!

I don't know, I'm just not afraid of doing time for such a worthy cause... been there and done that for much less.

It's things like this that make me think I live in the "Divided States of Embarrassment" instead of the USA!
 

tannter1477

New Member
The states will sue the fed,s for the right to govern within there state boundary and stand a fair chance of winning. problem, will the fed,s reschedule MJ to a 3 at that point? i think so. if the public see that the fed,s are playing this cat a mouse game of greed with the states and the states win a court order it wont go over too well if the feds keep busting down doors. feds are climbing a slippery slop here. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!
 

THsea

New Member
I like that this will probably lead to some scientific research into cannabis.. But everything else about this is evil and wrong.

I hope what this does is prove to everyone how GREAT cannabis can be.. Then, everyone just gives big pharma and the gov't the finger and decides to grow their own medicine in a far more cost effective and environmentally responsible fashion..

Maybe I wish for to much.. I'm hoping we as a country grow a brain, AND a pair.
 

tannter1477

New Member
I like that this will probably lead to some scientific research into cannabis.. But everything else about this is evil and wrong.

I hope what this does is prove to everyone how GREAT cannabis can be.. Then, everyone just gives big pharma and the gov't the finger and decides to grow their own medicine in a far more cost effective and environmentally responsible fashion..

Maybe I wish for to much.. I'm hoping we as a country grow a brain, AND a pair.
YEA i gave both of them the finger years ago and did grow my own. one problem my finger still stinks.:27::27::27:
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
...The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants... I can live or die w/that!
Benjamin Franklin (ad-lib by me)
I believe it was Jefferson who said that. I read somewhere that later, near the end of his life he recanted it but I've no idea of the truth of that (I wasn't there). It sure sounds like something he'd say though. Even if he changed his mind about the statement it would do nothing to diminish the truth of it.
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
I like that this will probably lead to some scientific research into cannabis...
There is already tons of positive research thats been done, by reputable institutions. Enough to make our case. The problem is that its not reported on or recognized by those who wish to push their agendas or by the media that they own and control, regardless of the science database that they are well aware of. What we need is truth from the media, to expect it from politicians is naive and I guess to expect it from the media is to since the same ones that own the politicians are the ones who also own the media. Only when our voices are so loud they can't be ignored will the truth cease to be ignored.
 
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chancedebris

New Member
Big Pharma has fired over 70,000 employees and shipped most of it's R & D to China. Ask those in Michigan who have lost their jobs. And the sickest part of this is, is that the Feds started the mass exportation of jobs with tax breaks and even seminars for the corporations on the benefits and how to do it. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
 
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