Could legal pot give Big Pharma a much-needed high?

MJ Child

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taken from hXXp://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=44407b1b-e13c-43f3-8ac4-1b01edebbea5 (change XX to tt)

Could legal pot give Big Pharma a much-needed high?
Medical marijuana is already massively profitable for a handful of states, so it's no surprise pharmaceutical giants want in on the action.
By InvestorPlace on Tue, May 31, 2011 10:18 AM
23You recommend this94%You don't recommend this6%Shared 145 timesThough it may not be politically correct to talk about the benefits of legalizing marijuana, the bottom line is that many folks are believers in the power of pot as a medication. And those believers include Big Pharma executives looking to boost their bottom lines.




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.





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




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 nationwide 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.

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Given the dollars at stake, it’s easy to see why Big Pharma wants in on the action. And recent developments indicate that soon 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 marketed by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (WPI ), and at least one other cannabis-based pill for a wide variety of new uses.




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 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.

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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 (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 (MRK), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMY). Novartis (NVS) is probably in there, too, considering the company once tested a cannabinoid agonist to treat chronic pain.
 

niteshft

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I can imagine the big pharmaceutical companys behind the push to keep mmj from becomming legal for the public to grow. They have a lot of money to spend on this because it's a product that has no known ill effects but is already found to be usefull for many ailments.
 

Erbal

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Your average pharmaceutical med cost about $100M to produce, from start to finish. I would think they have much to lose since people use MMJ for pain relief, anti-depressants, and sleep aids. (Markets they have invested Billions into.) Already, one plant does safer what 3 different drugs do with more serious side effects. If MMJ was going to dampen your ROI on $100M, what would you do?
 

Hick

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Erbal said:
Your average pharmaceutical med cost about $100M to produce, from start to finish. I would think they have much to lose since people use MMJ for pain relief, anti-depressants, and sleep aids. (Markets they have invested Billions into.) Already, one plant does safer what 3 different drugs do with more serious side effects. If MMJ was going to dampen your ROI on $100M, what would you do?
I have a friend doing chemo' right now. The 'scrpt for his 'appetite' meds alone, is $1200. Then there are 2 other meds required to counter act the side effects of it!...:doh::doh::doh::doh:
 

kaotik

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gotta love it eh?
so it's alright to reschedule it if they can twist it and get money off it, but keep it illegal for all the peons.

i thought marijuana had/has no beneficial medical qualities?.. that's the line they've fed us for years, now they've finally possibly found themselves a loophole to keep torturing us, while lining their pockets. so it's all good to reschedule part of it.

clever, i'll give them that. but i can think of a whole bunch of other words that fit for them too ;)

i knew the corporate pricks would find a way, i held much faith in their greed :(
so if big pharma produces a THC substiture, that';s all good, but if you or i do?

In other words, THC in plant form or as an extract, will still be illegal. What won’t be illegal is if a pharmaceutical company buys THC from a government-licensed provider, puts it in a pill, receives the DEA’s stamp of approval, and sells it a price that will likely be far higher than the price of marijuana
blog.norml.org/2011/02/10/daily-caller-is-the-dea-legalizing-thc/

red flags anyone? i can't believe how corrupt this is, and it seems to be going along easily under the radar
 

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