Big Pharma Sidestepping US Cannabis Restrictions On Research

Johnson & Johnson gets a chance to work with an innovative company that they can invest in when they see fit.

What’s are Pharmaceutical Companies doing to Move into the Cannabis Industry?

As we know, the DEA is sticking to its erroneous and outdated theory that cannabis has no medical use.

So, what’s a pharmaceutical company supposed to do?

Go elsewhere, of course

Some have started to research and develop drugs in labs north of the border while some have gone down to Colombia where they’re growing their own. Still others are getting approval in Europe and hoping that validation gives them an edge when they undertake the fastidious FDA approval process, according to a report in UK Business Insider.

While they may be as greedy as ever, pharmaceutical companies are at least open to scientific experimentation. And they’re not interested in missing the medical marijuana boat.

One company familiar to most Americans is Johnson & Johnson, which has an incubator in Canada, where last year it welcomed the first cannabis startup into its JLabs Innovation network.

Toronto-based Avicanna, which focuses on MMJ, now has access to lab space in the JLabs ecosystem as well as the recognition they need to recruit top-notch scientists and researchers. In exchange, Johnson & Johnson gets a chance to work with an innovative company that they can invest in when they see fit.

Later JLabs opened their doors to a second cannabis company, Vapium Medical.

"Partnering with JLabs allowed us to obtain a lot of credibility," Aras Azadian, Avicanna's CEO, told Business Insider. "It's also a great atmosphere to work in and to bring others in."

Other pharmaceutical companies are looking to study cannabis by importing extracts, but so far only one cannabis-based drug has FDA and DEA approval: dronabinol (or Marinol), which is designed to treat some of the negative side-effects of chemotherapy and AIDS.

Insys Therapeutics, that flooded the country with Fentanyl, recently received approval for a liquid version of dronabinol, Syndros, which treats the same conditions.

Meanwhile, research here at home has been dependent on the nasty weed samples provided by the University of Mississippi for the past five decades, up until 2 years ago.

American researchers who want to grow marijuana need to apply to the DEA for a license in a complex process that can take years.

Instead of leading this important medical cannabis process, the US is falling behind.

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