By Lanny Swerdlow, RN, LNC
Next year, the patent on Marinol—the synthetic version of THC—comes to an end, opening the market for synthetic THC distribution to all takers. Pharmaceutical companies know a cash cow when they see it and they are lining up en masse to produce their version of Marinol.
Sativex, produced by UK firm GW Pharmaceuticals, distributed in Canada and in many European countries and is in stage III trials in the U.S., utilizes naturally derived THC from the cannabis plant in its sublingual spray. A number of pharmaceutical companies have petitioned to use similar naturally derived THC rather than its more costly to produce synthetic version.
This is Big Pharma asking for legal medical marijuana now. With their legions of lobbyists on Capitol Hill and tens of millions of dollars pouring into the re-election war chests of politicians of both political parties, they are likely to get their way.
Now that may not seem fair that patients and small time collective operators get jail and fat cat corporate executives get to rake in billions for doing the same thing, but that’s the way it goes in this country. Giant corporations call all the shots in Washington and with the unfathomable number of deluded Americans enthusiastically supporting the corporate welfare-toting Tea Party pandering legislators, it’s only going to get worse.
Since the amount of money Big Pharma will make on the sale of medicinal marijuana will be directly proportional to the volume of marijuana consumed by patients, what do you think the pharmaceutical companies will do—instruct their lobbyist to seek legislation restricting the sale of marijuana only to people with one foot in the grave or start advertising on TV?
Since there will be no longer be an exclusive patent on producing THC derived medications, no one company can control the distribution and hence charge monopoly prices. With competition from a multitude of pharmaceutical corporations wanting their slice of this new multi-billion dollar pie, good old-fashioned American competition and innovation will drive prices down, down, down.
Of course, the widespread use of marijuana could cost pharmaceutical companies billions in lost sales of analgesics (painkillers), anti-psychotics and sleeping pills. Although these are amongst the most profitable drugs they produce, those loses will be dwarfed by the billions taken in from having total control of the legal marijuana market.
No one knows what form it will be in. Marinol is a pill, Sativex is a spray, but since it is going to be all about money, no doubt some innovative company will find some way to deliver this natural product in its natural form.
To obtain Big Pharma’s marijuana, you will get the old-fashioned prescription from a doctor instead of the new-fangled recommendation. Getting a prescription should be as easy as a getting a recommendation. Like Marinol, marijuana will be a Schedule III drug, which is much less tightly regulated than Schedule II drugs, which require special prescription pads with reporting to the DEA. Doctors hand out prescriptions for Schedule III drugs such as Vicodin like water, so it will be extremely easy to obtain a marijuana prescription from almost any doctor.
Not only will it be easy to get, but your insurance company will pay for the doctor visit. They might even pay for your marijuana. Why shouldn’t they? Insurance companies will save billions on the medications that doctors won’t have to prescribe because their patients have chosen to use marijuana instead.
Another major benefit for patients of having Big Pharma control marijuana distribution would be that since marijuana would be a prescription medicine, it would not be subject to taxes. The onerous prospects of a $50 to $100 per-ounce tax or the current business and sales taxes now being levied on collectives by cash-strapped cities would vanish. Since marijuana can be produced relatively cheaply if it is a legal crop, marijuana would become cheaper than aspirin.
Lanny Swerdlow, RN, LNC, hosts Marijuana Compassion& Common Sense every Monday at 6PM on Inland Empire talk radio station KCAA 1050AM and simulcast at http://www.kcaaradio.com. He can be reached at (760) 799-2055 or email@example.com.
Article from Culture Magazine and republished with special permission
Posts Tagged ‘marijuana pharmacy’
|Photo: The Julius Axelrod Papers|
|Dr. Julius Axelrod, pictured above, conducted some of the original research which culminated in the United States government getting a patent on all cannabinoids in 2003.|
|Graphic: TRENDS In Pharmacological Sciences|
|Pharmacological actions of non-psychotropic cannabinoids (with the indication of the proposed mechanisms of action). Abbreviations: D 9 -THC, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; D 8 -THC, D 8 -tetrahydrocannabinol; CBN, cannabinol; CBD, cannabidiol; D 9 -THCV, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin; CBC, cannabichromene; CBG, cannabigerol; D 9 -THCA, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid; CBDA, cannabidiolic acid; TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; PPARg, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g; ROS, reactive oxygen species; 5-HT1A, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor subtype 1A; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase. (+), direct or indirect activation; “, increase; #, decrease.|
|Skin immediately after exposure to 30 percent hydrogen peroxide|
Hydrogen peroxide‘s actions come from the fact that it oxidizes tissue.
|Dr. Julius Axelrod|
Medical Marijuana Inc is pleased to announce completion of a draft for a preliminary petition to the Federal Government to obtain a DEA sanctioned License to cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes. In the US there are now 15 States which recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana and cannabis related products (containing THC, the psycho-active ingredient) for various medical uses. Connecticut may soon be the 16th State to approve medical marijuana.
The Drug Enforcement Administration told Legalization Nation in an e-mail last week that 5 unnamed companies now hold licenses to grow cannabis in the United States. The DEA and enforcement agencies are examining a potential expansion of the medical marijuana industry along with a new acceptance by the Federal Government of the medical benefits. Nationwide, increasing numbers of Doctors are prescribing marijuana and related products for their patients and seeing their patients receiving benefit.
To further illustrate this expansion, (via a letter to the East Bay Express) the DEA revealed that “there are 64 active DEA registrations” (reflecting 55 companies) for manufacturers that have listed drug code 7370 (THC, Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, dronabinol and others) and drug code 7371(TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL, ORGANIC) on their DEA record. In other words, 55 companies have active licenses for producing organic THC (meaning they are growing medicinal marijuana). These reports contradict the widespread belief that there is only one legal marijuana farm in America, operated under the DEA for research purposes.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are watching this emerging trend of medicinal marijuana benefits to patients in the hope of bringing generic THC products to new market. For Pharmaceutical companies to bring generic THC products to market, the DEA would have to move organic THC down from Schedule I, where it is now, to a Schedule III classification, the same level of synthetic THC (Marinol). According to DEA records, pharmaceutical companies have requested just such a rescheduling. Should this rescheduling occur, it would green-light a new generation of prescription marijuana extract-to-pill farms.
The federal government has reportedly boosted its marijuana production capability by 900 percent to 4.5 million grams, according documents obtained by Americans for Safe Access. The most famous federally approved pot grower, Dr. Mahmoud El Sohly, has also testified he has begun legally selling THC extracted from his Mississippi farm to a substantial drug company.
Medical Marijuana Inc realizes that “full transparency in this industry” is a must, especially for investors in the growing number of publicly traded companies’ shares in the industry. MJNA and CannaBANK seek to provide the public with information on changing Governmental regulatory actions that may affect our businesses. As related in previous press releases, MJNA is dedicated to expanding available medical marijuana benefits to patients through science, such as its cannabinoid extraction process.
ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA INC
Our mission is to be the world’s premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate, invest in and purchase value-added sustainable companies, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, pay homage to the visionaries and activists of the past and present, provide the platform from which the industry can emerge into a global sustainable economy for all. Medical Marijuana Inc recognizes the vast and unequaled opportunities that exist in the rapidly expanding hemp and medical marijuana industries. The scientific recognition of cannabis has brought legalized marijuana use to the forefront of mainstream discussion, thus opening the door for safe and lucrative investment opportunities.