Pfizer, Eli Lilly Were The Original Medical Marijuana Sellers

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Today’s major pharmaceutical companies were the original medical marijuana sellers. Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis (now owned by Pfizer) and Squibb of Bristol-Myers Squibb all sold medical marijuana at the turn of the century. In a 1919 medical catalog, these companies listed several cannabis products.

Back then, most medicines were the same – the original generics. So it was up to good marketing and brand recognition to get people to buy one particular company’s drug over another. According to the Antique Cannabis Book, almost 6% of all manufactured drugs at the turn of the century contained cannabis in one form or another. For example, Squibb sold cannabis in powder form, tablets, fluid extracts and tinctures. However, Squibb wasn’t even the leader at the time with only 15 cannabis products in its lineup.

UpJohn & Co. listed 30 different cannabis entries in its medical catalog, while Parke Davis came in at 27. Eli Lilly sold 23 different versions and Abbott Laboratories sold 4 in 1935. Abbot is the only company that is still associated with medical marijuana. It’s research arm Abbvie Pharmaceuticals was recently spun off as a separate company and it manufactures the synthetic pot pill Marinol.

Are There Any Marijuana Stocks To Buy In 2015?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Perhaps nothing caught the eyes of speculative investors more than marijuana stocks in 2014, but just because marijuana stocks put up significant returns last year doesn’t mean that they can do it again in 2015. We asked our Motley Fool contributors to share their thoughts on whether there are any marijuana stocks investors might want to buy this year. Read on to learn what they think.

Todd Campbell: Most marijuana-related stocks offer more promise than they do profit, but Insys Therapeutics  (NASDAQ: INSY  )  is an exception.

Insys is developing a slate of therapies based on the marijuana cannabinoid CBD, but it’s already got a fast-growing, top-selling pain medication on the market that’s throwing off shareholder-friendly profits. That drug is Subsys, a fentanyl-based opiate that’s prescribed to treat breakthrough cancer pain. Sales of the drug jumped 105% year over year in the third quarter to $58.2 million, which led Insys to report adjusted EPS of $0.63. Thanks to Subsys, Insys is debt free, with the financial firepower necessary to advance its marijuana therapies through trials. The company expects to launch CBD trials in both Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome patients early this year, but it’s also been awarded orphan drug designation to study CBD in glioma, a tumor of the brain or nervous system; glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans; and pediatric schizophrenia. Although Insys’ research into CBD is at a very early stage, it should also soon be refiling its application for FDA approval of oral dronabinol, a new formulation of the long-standing marijuana-based chemotherapy drug Marinol. With one top seller already, another possibly coming soon, and a slate of intriguing CBD drugs in its pipeline, Insys is a stock investors may want to own.

Medical Marijuana Debate Focuses On What Is An Approved Drug, And Language Of Proposed Amendment

FLORIDA:  Voters will consider making Florida the 24th state and the first in the South to approve a comprehensive medical marijuana program, but opponents argue a synthetic form of marijuana already offers medical relief that’s controlled by the Food and Drug Administration.

The debate over medical marijuana in Florida has raged between supporters who cast it as a compassionate way to treat pain and suffering, and opponents who say it’s the opening of a Pandora’s box that cannot be controlled.

If passed, the law would allow medical use of marijuana for patients with debilitating diseases, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis. However, it also allows Florida physicians to certify it for any patient with conditions that could benefit.

The state Department of Health will set the regulations, including registering and regulating centers, dispensaries and farms, issuing identification cards to patients and caregivers — and keeping patients’ identities confidential.


Study: Most Patients Prefer Herbal Cannabis Over Marijuana-Based Pharmaceuticals

NETHERLANDS: Subjects who consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes prefer herbal forms of the plant to pharmaceutically produced derivatives, according to survey data published in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Investigators from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States conducted a web-based survey consisting of 21 structured questions to assess patients’ perceptions of different types of cannabinoid-based medicinal products as well as their preferred modes of consumption. Over 950 subjects took part in the survey. [Read more…]