Medical Marijuana on the Rise

National News
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Medical marijuana has picked up considerable momentum after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of GW Pharmaceuticals’ epilepsy medication, Epidolex. The panel recommended approval of the drug to treat two forms of epilepsy — Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which are the most difficult types of epilepsy to treat despite other currently available traditional medications. If the agency follows the recommendation, this would be the first cannabis-derived prescription medicine available in the U.S. and could be sold in the U.S. this year. Several other legitimate players in this medical marijuana sector include Scythian Biosciences Corporation (TSX-V:SCYB) (OTC:SCCYF), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (TSX-V:OGI) (OTC:OGRMF), Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRBP), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) and Aphria Inc. (OTC:APHQF) (TSX: APH).

According to Aras Azadian, CEO of Avicanna, as quoted by Fluent Markets, “The Epidiolex results show further progress in the medical and evidence-based use of cannabinoids. This will help educate the medical community and help in convincing other clinicians to focus on cannabinoids as a possible treatment for other indications that it may be helpful for.”

Whether it be GW Pharmaceuticals’ childhood epilepsy medication, or Scythian Biosciences Corporation’s (TSX-V: SCYB) (OTC: SCCYF) cannabis-based treatment for traumatic brain injury, there is a clear need for medical marijuana among patients.

Medical Marijuana Changing the Way We Treat Patients

“Thirty states already permit some form of medical cannabis use, and several more are poised to approve it this fall – a sign this now-beloved industry has dramatically altered public opinion among both conservatives and liberals,” notes USA Today. “Among the most recent high-profile additions to the medical marijuana industry: former House speaker John Boehner, who is joining the Acreage board after decades of cannabis opposition.”

One of the many companies leading the charge with marijuana treatment has been GW Pharmaceuticals where a “Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of an epilepsy medication. If the agency follows the recommendation, as is expected, the drug would be the first cannabis-derived prescription medicine available in the United States,” as reported by The New York Times.

The panel recommended approval of the drug to treat two rare forms of epilepsy — Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which are the most difficult types of epilepsy to treat despite other currently available traditional medications.

Also, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and commercializing proprietary synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics is hard at work developing ZYN002, which is in clinical trials for the treatment of refractory epilepsy, Fragile X syndrome, and osteoarthritis.

Even Scythian Biosciences Corporation (TSX.V:SCYB) (OTCQB:SCCYF) also is just beginning to gain momentum, advancing its treatment efforts for concussions and traumatic brain injury with its proprietary cannabinoid-based combination drug therapy.

The Cannabis Commitment to Brain Trauma Remedies

Scythian Biosciences is currently advancing prevention and treatment efforts for concussion and traumatic brain injury with its proprietary cannabinoid-based combination drug therapy. It’s doing so by using a compound known as cannabidiol (CBD), which is found naturally in the marijuana plant that can help reduce inflammation in the brain and the resulting pressure of injured brain tissue against the skull.

However, Scythian’s ambitions doesn’t stop there. The company has recently announced its letter of intent to acquire MMJ International Investments Inc., sole holder of an Argentina-based pharmaceutical import and distribution company. This move, along with Isodol’s ability to export the pure, natural CBD anywhere in the world, including Argentina, Colombia, and Jamaica, could exponentially expedite Scythian’s international footprint and industry advancements.

Most recently, the company announced a licensing agreement with Isodiol International Inc. – a market leader in pharmaceutical grade phytochemical compounds and an industry leader in the manufacturing and development of CBD consumer products, to import and distribute Isodiol products to certain countries in the CaribbeanCentral America, and South America, including ArgentinaColombia and Jamaica.

“Scythian shares Isodiol’s commitment to developing the purest and most advanced medical cannabis products for patients in need,” said Rob Reid, CEO of Scythian Biosciences Corporation(TSX-V: SCYB) (OTC: SCCYF) “On the heels of Isodiol’s milestone approval by the United Kingdom’sMedicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, we’re proud to be able to tap into Isodiol’s experienced, top tier team of chemists, technicians and professors that yield the purest government-approved CBD oil available for the advancement of the industry’s understanding and application of medical cannabis.”

Potential Comparables:

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) – AbbVie has exposure to synthetic cannabinoids-derived medication through its drug, Marinol. AbbVie’s Marinol has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This drug treats nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and restores hunger in AIDS patients.

OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (TSX-V:OGI) (OTCQB:OGRMF) – Organigram Inc. is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada. The company is focused on producing the highest-quality, condition-specific medical marijuana for patients in Canada. Its portfolio includes dry cannabis and cannabis oil, along with accessories like vaporizers.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRBP) – CRBP focuses on the development and commercialization of various therapeutic products to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. The company’s lead product candidate is lenabasum, a synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug that is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of systemic sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, dermatomyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus diseases.

Aphria Inc. (OTCQB:APHQF) (TSX: APH) – Aphria is one of Canada’s lowest-cost medical cannabis producers. The company sells its products through both retail and wholesale channels. It’s also engaged in the research and development and commercial production of cannabis oil.

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