Many cannabis industry experts believe that the cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical sub-industry has the most potential to be the largest growth target for the cannabis industry as a whole, and if regulatory barriers to the cannabis industry are eased or lifted, the industry experts are probably right. The positive results of cannabis-based drugs on various diseases, illnesses, and symptoms, are overwhelming, and companies such as Digipath, Inc. and GW Pharmaceuticals, plc, are at the forefront trying to bring these this cannabis-based drug treatment to the mainstream.
The pharmaceutical industry is estimated to average about $500 billion in sales per year. The industry is heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) almost every step of the way from testing, patenting, efficacy, and marketing of the drugs. Meanwhile the cannabis industry, at its current state, is the Wild West. There is almost no standardization of cannabis products across the country for a product that has an estimated 700 different types of strands. This means that trying to buy a specific cannabis product to help with muscle pain in one part of town that you bought in another part of town, is impossible. Whereas, buying Epilim, a drug for epilepsy, is the same chemical compound no matter where in the country you buy it from.
Many believe that this lack of standardization is a reason for the fear of regulatory forces to approve many cannabis-related drugs or trials. Medical labs such as Breath of Life Pharma Ltd. are trying to map out the cannabis drug more clearly while also being a resource for cannabis companies to test for quality control. Concurrently, the cannabis industry is starting to see some cracks in the regulatory wall be made. The FDA has recently approved a few cannabis-based pharmaceutical clinical trials to be performed, which is an enormous victory for the industry.
We seem to be approaching a period of maturity for the cannabis industry as it grows from an underground and unregulated market, to a more understood, standardized, and mature market that the regulatory forces can’t stand behind the excuse that the drug is too unknown and variable. The medical benefits are too great and the demand from society is too high for it to not break through the regulatory barriers, and when it does, many industry experts believe it will be the single fastest growing industry in the country.