Hey hey tokers!! 🌿 It's an exciting time in the world of medicine as the potential benefits of medical cannabis are gaining recognition and popularity. Today, we're diving into the story of Jazz pharmaceuticals, which happens to now be the biggest medical cannabis producer in the world.
A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane
Back in 1998, two visionary doctors, Geoffrey Guy and Brian Whittle, founded GW Pharmaceuticals. Armed with a cultivation license from the UK Home Office and the MHRA, they were officially in the cannabis game. They even teamed up with Hortapharm B.V., a cannabis research powerhouse based in Amsterdam. 🌱 Related Article: How To Get Legal Weed UK
The Big Acquisition
Hold on to your hats, because in 2021, Irish company Jazz Pharmaceuticals made a jaw-dropping move by acquiring GW Pharmaceuticals for a staggering £5.7 billion ($7.2 billion). This wasn't just big; it was the largest-ever deal in the global cannabis sector. It's a clear sign of the cannabis industry's growing legitimacy and acceptance in the pharmaceutical world.
The UK's Surprising Role
Would you believe it if we told you that the UK is the world's largest producer of legal cannabis for medical and scientific purposes? Yep, according to the UN's International Narcotics Control Board, it's true. But here's the catch – proper access to medical cannabis is still a distant dream for many UK patients, with hardly any NHS prescriptions being issued.
GW Pharmaceuticals plays a pivotal role in maintaining the UK's top spot, churning out a whopping 100 tons of medicinal cannabis annually to meet the ever-growing demand for cannabis-based treatments.
Prescription-Only Access: Is It a Blessing?
Why is medical cannabis available only by prescription, you ask? Well, both GW and Jazz Pharmaceuticals say:
It's all about ensuring that patients get safe and effective treatments. Regulating production and distribution ensures that patients receive products of consistent quality. Moreover, this approach allows for more research into the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis-based treatments.
We at High Committee however, believe anyone that qualifies for medical cannabis should be able to grow it at home without issue, and people should be able to buy cannabis recreationally if over the age of 21 - (and whilst we're at it we should also follow the US and increase the legal drinking age to 21 - fuck alcohol!).
Related Article: Medical Cannabis VS OCD
The Dark Side of Big Pharma's Involvement
The involvement of big pharmaceutical companies in the cannabis industry has been a topic of debate, with some critics arguing that it has commodified cannabis and exploited users
1. The profit-driven focus of the pharmaceutical industry has led to the high cost of cannabis-based treatments, making them out of reach for many who could benefit from them.
2. Additionally, the legalization of cannabis has projected to cost pharmaceutical companies billions of pounds in lost sales.
3. This has led to targeted lobbying by pharmaceutical companies to prevent broader legalization.
3. The cost of pharmaceutical drugs remains a significant financial burden to both the US and UK government. Cannabis is very clearly a large part of the solution.
5. However, despite the projected £56 billion ($70.6 billion) global market value of legal weed by 2028, those hurt most by the 'war on drugs' lack access to the industry.
6. The high cost of opening a cultivation facility and local government regulations have made it difficult for budding entrepreneurs to enter the industry as well as making it extremely difficult for many on low to afford treatment - although there are access schemes from some clinics including Sapphire and Mamedica making it easier for a growing number of patients.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals has announced the construction of a state-of-the-art cannabis manufacturing facility in Kent UK, which will support the manufacture of Jazz and GW's two approved cannabis-based medicines. This development further solidifies Jazz Pharmaceuticals' role in running medical cannabis in the UK in 2024 and beyond.
Philip May, Theresa May's husband, has a connection to GW Pharmaceuticals, a company known for producing cannabis-derived medications. Philip May holds a significant share in GW Pharmaceuticals through his company, Capital Group. GW Pharmaceuticals has achieved FDA approval for Epidiolex, the cannabis-derived drug designed to treat childhood epilepsy. The company is also currently awaiting approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the same medication. There have been debates and discussions surrounding the connection between Theresa May and GW Pharmaceuticals, with some suggesting that her husband's investment in the company might influence her stance on medical cannabis policies. However, it's important to note that there is no direct evidence indicating that Theresa May has any personal financial interest in GW Pharmaceuticals.
Wrapping It Up
In a nutshell, Jazz Pharmaceuticals has risen to the top as the biggest medical cannabis producer globally, thanks to its massive production capacity. While the UK leads in medical cannabis production, accessibility for patients remains a challenge. As the industry continues to evolve, it's crucial for policymakers and healthcare providers to work hand in hand, ensuring that patients can tap into the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis. And let's not forget to keep a watchful eye on the concerns surrounding big pharma's involvement, making sure that patient welfare always takes centre stage. 🌿🏥
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