As we have seen in the last post, marijuana is legalized in 4 out of the 50 states of the USA. However, medicinal cannabis is legalized in a total of 18 states.
With more and more states legalizing this medicinal cannabis, the medical cannabis industry is getting busy in order to make profit from this promising market. According to See Change Strategy, a research firm specialized in new markets, the medicinal cannabis business market represent 2 billion dollars and it could be 9 billion dollars if other states were willing to legalize marijuana for medical use.
The leading company in this market is GW Pharma. It is a british company that has been founded in 1998. Their product is called Sativex.
Sativex is an oral spray sold mainly in Europe for the moment but it will soon probably extends to the USA. Sativex has strong partners with pharmaceuticals giants Bayer and Novartis. It is a cure against spasms caused by multiple sclerosis and it is free of known psychotic effects of cannabis.
GW Pharma is currently trying to validate step by step clinicalt trials in order to market Sativex for other diseases.
4 states in the USA had the marijuana legalized: Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. However marijuana is also legalized in California for medical purpose since 1996.
In fact, it is described as hypocrite by many people since it is really easy to get a prescription from a doctor: you just have to say your back hurts or that you have trouble sleeping…
The fact is that California faces important dryness problems and hemp cultivation still require lots of water. It does require the same amount of water than maize cultivation: from 22 liter to 60 liter per day.
Maize cultivation water cunsomption is regulated by some laws but it is not the case for marijuana cultivation which stand between legality and illegality. The water consumption rules for cultivation don’t apply for marijuana consumption.
Marijuana farmers are nearly all located in the same area called the Emerald Triangle.
Their uncontrolled water consumption resulted in the loss of a quarter of the flow of the rivers near the area.
Since I’ve talked about the permissive legislation in Amsterdam in the last two posts I thought it could be interesting to compare the statistics between Netherland and France (toughest repressive legislation in Europe) regarding young people marijuana’s consumption.
In France, 40% of the teenagers under 16 years old have tried cannabis at least once. On the other hand, in the Netherland, the country of coffe shops, only 26% of the teenagers under 16 yo have tried it.
Moreover, France is the second country in Europe where there is the most important marijuana consumption behind the Czech Republic. However, it is really hard to correlate the cannabis repression and the consumption. Let’s try to list the pros and cons of each legislation.
France – Pros (repressive legislation)
- Marijuana is not sold in public places
- No excessive tourism only in order to smoke
France – Cons (repressive legislation)
- High mariajuana consumption
- Bad for public health since the marijuana is mixed with other stuff by mafia/black market in order to increase profit
- Effort and money spent to fight cannabis despite it is not efficient
Netherland – Pros (permissive legislation)
- Better for public health that in most countries since the product is controlled by the government
- Generates a lot of income for the government (same for alcohol and tobacco in France)
- Less smokers than in other countries
Netherland – Cons (permissive legislation)
- Excessive tourism only in order to smoke freely
As you can see, the repressive legislation does not seem to be the more efficient way to fight marijuana and to improve public health.