Marijuana legalization: Pharmaceutical firms eye potential market worth tens of billions

Categories: Marijuana

Thumbnail image for pot bowl.jpg
A March report from See Change Strategy LLC pegged the national medical marijuana market at $1.7 billion, with the market doubling in five years. Impressive, sure, but according to InvestorPlace.com, a prominent financial site, it's a relative drop in the bucket compared to the $10 billion to $100 billion market that could develop if the feds were to legalize marijuana outright.

In comparison, pharmaceutical powerhouse Pfizer earned $11 billion last year on the superstar drug Lipitor.

So who would profit from all those legal marijuana billions? Most likely, it would be those already profiting in the pharmaceutical industry. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration recently reported that it has granted pot-growing licenses to 55 companies; while those firms weren't named, InvestorPlace.com fingers such likely culprits as Watson Pharmaceuticals, which markets the THC drug Marinol, and Valeant Pharmceutical International, which has developed a different THC drug called Cesamet. Other candidates include Pfizer, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers-Squibb and the big pharma powerhouses looking to get into the THC game as early as possible.

Then there's Sativex, a marijuana drug that's different from the others because it's not synthetic: It's a liquefied sativa extract that contains both healthful cannabinoids and the psychoactive component THC -- although apparently the THC is limited enough that it will take quite the dose to get a person as high as, say, smoking a joint. It's likely that Sativex's developer, GW Pharmaceuticals, is angling for legal U.S. pot farms, too.

So what part of the market does that leave for the mom and pops if pot does becomes legal? Not a big slice -- although considering the rapid growth of Colorado's medical marijuana market, some hometown ganjapreneurs might end up giving Big Pharma a run for at least some of the money.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana seminar will offer tips on on how to profit from Colorado's cash crop"


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9 comments
James Anderwald
James Anderwald

seriously this is retarded. whats the tax on growing tomatoes? should be the same for growing cannabis. just cause its a "valuable" product, (gonna stop here and point out if it wasn't ever made illegal, there would of been no market for it really, because anyone can grow it and in fact it used to be illegal to NOT grow hemp in the early colonies.) doesn't give them the right to tax the shit out of it. that isn't a actual solution to the problem. that creates another one. one where they are still gonna be charging an arm and a leg for something that's extremely readily available after they RE legalize it. which if you actually read the laws surrounding the CSA, cannabis is not able to be illegalized, as it has been prescribed by homeopathic doctors and natural healers since....oh i don't know, THE BEGINNING of its USE in the world, circa 5000 years ago. and the entire deal with the dea letting 55 pharma companies grow a plant that they are being bastards about is beyond outrageous. but hopefully the fact that no one has freaked out yet should be pointing out the fact that it isnt turning us into raving lunatic's that will kill a person as opposed to looking at them.

i don't think they want to put me into court cause i actually do my homework, research and will stop a attorney in mid sentence if they veer off my plan of action for them to talk about. i may not be the best public speaker or petitioner yet, but i'm always trying to better myself.

wtfk
wtfk

The plan of the pigopolists has always been to protect the (existing/potential) profits of big pharma.

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

And the real issue is why that picture has a bowl full of seeds... WTF ?

Kwame
Kwame

the difference is this.

most people would rather not go out of their way to buy Moonshine from their neighbors , when they can go buy a 6 pack of Old Chub at the LQ instead.

however most people will definitely want to buy an Ounce of pot from their neighbor with the OG Kush, before they ever go jump through a bunch of hoops trying to get a prescription for some wack ass bullshit called "Sativex"

Fuck the Pharmaceutical Lobby with a AIDS infested Dildo, its the only way they will ever release the cure for HIV after all. 

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesussaid to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us wouldwant our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None ofus would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by thepolice for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’stime to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.

Nextstep: How about $100 for a permit to grow a dozen plants?  We can use the money for our schools, and itwill put the drug gangs out of business for good! 

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

According to some sources, those 55 companies did not get a license to grow, but they got a license to research cannabinoids.  No one is 100% sure what is exactly going on with the companies.  We do know that the Federal Government's Mississippi pot farm has increased production by 900%!  It is now selling cannabinoids to big pharma.  

If big pharma gets its way, then we still won't be allowed to grow, or it will be just like making moonshine.  You can do it, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops.  But hey, mmj patients in Colorado are used to hoops now.

findmypot
findmypot

I agree with the guest comment.  Eric Holder supposedly will be issuing a statement regarding medical marijuana in the near future.   As always, the industry is the wait and see mode...

http://www.dankweed.com
http://www.dankweed.com

it will go to the .com owners...all of it..just like rupert buying news.com in the 90's..all catchy brandable pot domain names can become ebusiness. all existing medical marijuana shops become bought out by venture capitalists and turn into bars...

Guest
Guest

The DEA is letting 55 companies grow a plant that they claim has no medical value and a high potential for abuse?  While at the same time raiding, terrorizing, jailing, and seizing the assets of people who grow the same plant for medical purposes?  Isn't that interesting.

Is there anyone left in this country who doesn't think the US government is a corrupt sack of shit?  

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