Politics

America is giving away the $30 billion medical marijuana industry

​It appears that none of the 25 applications to grow marijuana for purposes of medical research have gone anywhere. (The DEA won’t comment on this or release the names of the applicants.) … A remarkable 94 percent [of Americans] support medical use. “And businesses outside of the country are already making billions of dollars,” Doblin says. Canada, the Netherlands, and Israel all have booming cannabis research sectors; in Israel, some of the work is government-funded. “We have enormous opportunity that we’re squandering as a country to reduce health-care costs, build businesses, and create jobs,” Dr. Rick Doblin says.

Many people expect the Republican-controlled Congress to follow its recent tax overhaul by looking for ways to slash costs in Medicaid and Medicare. Legitimate research into the medicinal properties of marijuana could help. Studies show that opioid use drops significantly in states where marijuana has been legalized; this suggests people are consuming the plant for pain, something they could be doing more effectively if physicians and the FDA controlled chemical makeup and potency. A study published in July 2016 inHealth Affairs showed that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative “fell significantly,” saving hundreds of millions of dollars among users of Medicare Part D. “The marijuana plant in bud form, if we can get it available by the FDA, is going to be incredibly cheap,” Doblin says. …. “I guess I take a nationalist approach here,” says Rick Kimball, a former investment banker who’s raising money for a marijuana-related private equity fund and is a trustee for marijuana policy at the Brookings Institution. “We have a huge opportunity in the U.S.,” he says, “and we ought to get our act together. I’m worried that we’re ceding this whole market to the Israelis.”

Original Article (Bloomberg):
America is giving away the $30 billion medical marijuana industry
Artwork Fair Use: smallbones

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