Tag Archives | Medical Marijuana

Will Big Pharma Take Over The American Market For Medical Marijuana?

MedMarjIf the hundreds of uses for cannabis doesn’t plead the case for its legalization, the money made from its medical industry just might do it. The Washington Independent reports:

The American Independent has previously reported on the growing corporatization of the incipient medical marijuana industry at a time when medical marijuana dispensaries scrabble to hold on to their businesses in the face of a multi-pronged federal crackdown. But there are signs afoot that it just may become ever more corporate if a Big Pharma push to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recognize a cannabis-derived drug is successful.

Last week, British prescription drug manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals announced a licensing agreement with drug giant Novartis, maker of Ritalin and Excedrin, to begin selling GW’s drug Sativex in markets across Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East. The medication is already available in Britain, where it’s produced and marketed by Bayer, and in Canada and Spain.

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Ruling Opens the Door to Legalize Marijuana in Canada

Pot Friendly CanadaSandro Contenta writes on GlobalPost:

TORONTO— Pot lovers are dreaming of July 10, the day Canada’s dope laws go up in smoke.

An Ontario judge has struck down key aspects of Canada’s marijuana laws, triggering a 90-day countdown when growing, possessing or smoking pot will become legal.

The April 11 court ruling gives the federal government three months to either reform the laws or appeal the ruling to a higher court.

At issue is a 2001 law that allows seriously ill Canadians to access marijuana for medicinal purposes. But Justice Donald Taliano found that the vast majority of doctors refuse to prescribe the drug. Patients are therefore forced to break the law, either by growing their own or buying it on the black market.

“Seriously ill persons who need marihuana to treat their symptoms are forced to choose between their health and their liberty,” Taliano, of the Ontario Superior Court, wrote in his ruling.

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Inside Oaksterdam University: ‘Where Marijuana Gets You Higher Education’

OaksterdamJason Motlagh writes in TIME:

On the second floor of the downtown campus, a motley group of students listens to a lecture titled “Palliative and Curative Relief Through a Safe and Effective Herbal Medicine.” Not the sexiest of topics on the face of it, but there’s a catch: this is Oaksterdam University, and the medicine being discussed is marijuana. At “America’s first cannabis college,” in Oakland, Calif., the sallow-faced hippy-skater types that one expects to find sit beside middle-aged professionals in business attire, united in their zeal for the pungent green leaf. No one dares speak out of turn, until instructor Paul Armentano, a marijuana-policy expert, cites a news report that U.S. antidrug authorities plan to legalize pot’s active ingredient exclusively for drug companies’ use. “More stinking profits for Big Business,” mumbles a young man wearing a baseball cap. His classmates groan in agreement.

More than 17,000 students have enrolled since Oaksterdam opened in late 2007.

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Medical Marijuana Is Now A $1.7 Billion Market


Medical Marijuana shop in Denver, Colorado. Photo: O'Dea (CC)

The medical marijuana market has had a significant growth this year. With seven states who have opened shop and five more states planned to approve medical marijuana outlets this year, cannabis could save many states’ economies. Medical News Today reports:

Medical marijuana is now a serious $1.7 billion dollar market, according to a new report released this week by an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets. Currently, 24.8 million people are eligible to receive a recommendation and purchase marijuana legally under state laws, and approximately 730,000 people actually do.

Ted Rose, editor of the new State of the Medical Marijuana Market 2011 report, comments:

“Medical marijuana markets are rapidly growing across the country and will reach $1.7 billion this year. We undertook this effort because we noticed a dearth of reliable market information about this politically charged business.

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“Canna Cola” Brings Marijuana To The Soda Industry

ABC News reports on another weed-infused fizzy drink (see this story for a previous initiative):
Canna Cola is the new spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. The beverage combines soda and THC, a psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, to create a drink that co-brand-developer Clay Butler calls "medibles," edible medicine. "A lot of people simply don't want to smoke," says co-brand developer Clay Butler. "It's very easy to take your medication in the form of a cookie, soda or brownie and you can do that without drawing attention to yourself."...
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Arizona Passes Prop 203, Legalizing Medical Marijuana, In Surprise Outcome

Medical MarijuanaA major elderly population means major glaucoma issues, which spells Arizona unexpectedly becoming the 15th state to legalize pot for medical use. Via CNN:

Almost two weeks after polls closed, Arizona voters have approved a medical marijuana law, state officials said Monday.

The close vote — by a margin of 4,341 votes — will be certified by the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on November 29, said spokesman Matthew Benson. A ballot count from Maricopa County over the weekend allowed state officials to provide the results, he said.

Arizona becomes the 15th state, along with the District of Columbia, to have passed a medical marijuana law since 1996, said a spokesman with the advocacy group Medical Marijuana Project. The Arizona law will allow patients with “debilitating medical conditions” to use cannabis if they have a recommendation from their physician.

Arizona’s Proposition 203, approved 841,346 to 837,005, will allow about 120 clinics to dispense marijuana to patients with prescriptions, project officials said.

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Marijuana Soda? Medicinal Users Now Have Smoke-Free Option

Allie Townsend writes on TIME:
Thirsty? Why not open an ice-cold bottle of pot-infused root beer? dixie-bottles A new line of pot-infused beverages masquerading behind soda flavors are now available to patients with a prescription for medical marijuana. Made by Colorado-based Dixie Elixirs, the carbonated drinks are marketed to medicinal-marijuana patients who wish to avoid “weed culture” stigmas.
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Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation

under the influenceAndrew Weil, MD gives a nice plug for the classic disinformation anthology Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs in this post about the medical benefits of marijuana for the Huffington Post:

If an American doctor of the late 19th century stepped into a time warp and emerged in 2010, he would be shocked by the multitude of pharmaceuticals that today’s physicians use. But as he pondered this array (and wondered, as I do, whether most are really necessary), he would soon notice an equally surprising omission, and exclaim, “Where’s my Cannabis indica?”

No wonder — the poor fellow would feel nearly helpless without it. In his day, labor pains, asthma, nervous disorders and even colicky babies were treated with a fluid extract of Cannabis indica, also known as “Indian hemp.” (Cannabis is generally seen as having three species — sativa, indica and ruderalis — but crossbreeding is common, especially between sativa and indica.) At least 100 scientific papers published in the 19th century backed up such uses.

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Feds Nix Marijuana Trademark Category

Keef ColaThe legalization movement may be making giant strides in the U.S., but at least one government agency, the Patent & Trademark Office, is having second thoughts and has removed its medical marijuana category, as reported by the Wall Street Journal:

For three months until last week, marijuana dealers had something they could only dream of before: the apparent stamp of approval of a federal agency.

On April 1, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office created a new trademark category: “Processed plant matter for medicinal purposes, namely medical marijuana.” The patent office, part of the Department of Commerce, posted the new category on its website.

The patent-office change set off a land rush by pot dealers in the 14 states where laws permit medical-marijuana sales. Some staked claims on rights to long-used names like Maui Wowie and Chronic. Others applied to trademark business names such as Budtrader and Pot-N. Two companies applied to trademark psychoactive sodas named Keef Cola and Canna Cola.

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