Legal Marijuana Could Be Next Big Opportunity in Health Care

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While cannabis isn’t yet legal across the U.S., new technologies are already opening doors to promising new applications of marijuana—and pharmaceutical companies are gearing up for a future where these options could hit the market, says Piper Jaffray.

The back story. In 2017 Canada legalized cannabis, but the road toward acceptance in the U.S. looks longer. The U.S. has taken a more patchwork approach to marijuana legalization, with individual states making their own regulations for now (and not always favoring legalization). 

Yet plenty of investors, from institutions to consumer-staples giants and retailers are betting on a future in which the U.S. prohibition is lifted nationwide. And that means more than just pot. Other products like CBD oil are already making in-roads, and of course, given that medical marijuana is already an accepted treatment in many places, cannabinoid-based drugsare another potential growth area.

What’s new. Piper Jaffray’s Michael Lavery recently met with executives of Cellibre, a private cellular agriculture firm that employs techniques borrowed from medicine to allow labs to grow molecules from cell cultures. This is a promising technology for marijuana because the cells “naturally replicate themselves and can create specific molecules without unnatural byproducts.” [Read more at Barron’s]

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