Medical Benefits In Legal Cannabis Products

CALIFORNIA: The U.S. medical cannabis market was valued at USD 5.44 billion in 2016 and is expected to be valued at USD 19.48 billion by 2024, According to a report by Hexa Research.

The expected growth is driven by the growing acceptance of medical advantages associated with cannabis, particularly for patients dealing with cancer, diabetes and chronic pain. Symptoms and conditions that may be treated by cannabis include, cancer, HIV, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Chronic pain accounted for 46 percent of the U.S. cannabis medical market share in 2016.

According to the research, the solid cannabis edibles segment in 2016, within the U.S. market generated $2.47 billion in revenue and is expected to continue to dominate the cannabis industry to 2024.

California’s new recreational cannabis laws went into effect on January 1st, 2018. A report by Fortune indicates that, “In order to collect $1 billion a year in taxes, the state will need to reach a projected $7 billion in annual legal recreational cannabis sales. At that rate, California would easily be the country’s largest legal marijuana market, as the entire legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is expected to pull in roughly $10 billion in total sales for 2017. That number would almost certainly get a boost in the coming years, as legal markets grow in California and other states, such as Nevada and Massachusetts.”

Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Fewer Opioid-Related Hospitalizations

CALIFORNIA: The enactment of statewide legislation permitting medical cannabis access by qualified patients is associated with a reduction in opioid-related hospitalization, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A researcher from the University of California at San Diego assessed the association between medical cannabis laws and hospitalizations related to opioid pain relievers. The author reported both immediate and longer-term reductions in opioid-related hospitalization following changes in law.

“This study demonstrated significant reductions on OPR- (opioid pain reliever) related hospitalizations associated with the implementation of medical marijuana policies. … We found reductions in OPR-related hospitalizations immediately after the year of policy implementation as well as delayed reductions in the third post-policy year.”

The author also dismissed contentions that liberalized marijuana laws were associated with any subsequent increase in marijuana-related hospital admissions, concluding: “While the interpretation of the results should remain cautious, this study suggested that medical marijuana policies were not associated with marijuana-related hospitalizations. Instead, the policies were unintendedly associated with substantial reductions in OPR related hospitalizations.”

The findings are consistent with those of other studies reporting that medical cannabis legalization is associated with lower rates of opioid abusemortality, and prescription drug spending.