Could This Recent Study On Casual Marijuana Use Crush Marijuana’s Momentum?

NEW YORK:  If you polled Americans a decade ago for their opinion on marijuana, there’s a good chance you would have received an overwhelming number of responses against the idea of legalization. In fact, Gallup polls suggest that just one-in-four respondents were in favor of legalizing marijuana 10 years ago.

Marijuana’s perception evolution
Nowadays things are far different. A Gallup poll in 2013 showed that nearly three in five people are in favor of marijuana’s legalization. Furthermore, growing public acceptance of marijuana for its medical benefits and the tax revenue it can generate have led to 23 states approving marijuana for medical purposes and four legalizing it for recreational, adult use.

But just because marijuana’s momentum is increasing doesn’t mean that the slate of studies highlighting its potential dangers have decreased in any meaningful way. Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a majority of studies to date (and when I say majority I mean more than nine out of 10) have examined marijuana’s negative effects rather than any benefits it might present, so the sheer number of negative studies could very well be due to this research imbalance.

Still, studies like the one presented in the Journal of Neuroscience by nine authors last year, including those from Harvard Medical School, Northwestern University, and Massachusetts General Hospital, concerning cannabis use in young adults, could remain a deterrent toward a rapid expansion of marijuana’s potential uses in the medical field.

Marijuana’s Promise Of Profit Remains Elusive (For Now)

NEW YORK: Excitement surrounding medical marijuana led to a significant run-up in GW Pharmaceuticals‘ share price earlier this year, but based on the company’s recently announced quarterly and fiscal full-year earnings results, the promise of marijuana profit remains far off in the distance.

Planning for the future

That’s because GW Pharma has only one marketed marijuana derived therapy, Sativex, on the market, and Sativex, which is used to treat multiple sclerosis spasticity, has yet to win the FDA go-ahead for use in United States. As a result, sales of Sativex, which come primarily from European markets, total just $2 million in the quarter ending June and were small enough for the full fiscal year ending September that the company didn’t bother breaking them out in its quarterly earnings press release.

Instead, the company focused the bulk of its earnings report on the promising opportunity for its marijuana-based medicine across various indications and a slate of trials spanning cancer pain, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and even diabetes.

Those trials are all ongoing, so investors will need to rely on past trial data to make judgments on whether or not the market demand for GW Pharma’s medicine will justify the company’s $1.27 billion market cap.