Big things are happening in the cannabis industry, and euphoria among investors is, appropriately, “high.” Two weeks from today, Canada will wave the proverbial green flag on recreational marijuana, making it legal for licensed dispensaries to sell dried cannabis or cannabis oils come Oct. 17 to adults aged 18 or 19 and older (depending on the province).
As you might rightly expect, with Canada becoming the first industrialized country in the world to legalize recreational pot, sales are expected to go through the roof. Estimates vary wildly on Wall Street, but there’s little doubting that billions in added annual revenue could easily begin flowing into the industry.
But what you might not realize is that there’s a revolution of sorts ongoing in the United States as well. And no, I’m not talking about the 30 states that have thus far legalized medical cannabis, or the nine that have OK’d the use of recreational marijuana. Instead, I’m referring to the cannabinoid-based drug revolution being spearheaded by GW Pharmaceuticals(NASDAQ:GWPH).
In case you missed it, GW Pharmaceuticals is over here making history
On June 25, U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals made history by becoming the first drug developer to have its cannabis-derived therapy, known as Epidiolex, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Mind you, synthetic versions of cannabinoids, such as oral dronabinol solutions (a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that gets you “high”), have been previously approved by the FDA. But never before had a medicine using genuine cannabinoids from the cannabis plant — in this case cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive component known for its perceived medical benefits — been given the thumbs-up.
Pore over clinical data for Epidiolex, a treatment for two rare forms of childhood-onset epilepsy (Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS)), and it’s not hard to see why the FDA’s advisory panel voted unanimously in favor of recommending the drug for approval and why the FDA followed suit by approving it in June. In a pivotal-stage Dravet syndrome study, Epidiolex…
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