Medicinal cannabis are also known as Medical marijuana, which area used either to treat disease or to improve their symptoms. The two cannabinoids – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are used in treatment of certain disease or health conditions such as pain, blood pressure, memory, concentration, appetite, sensory stimulus, muscular problems, and seizures. The various economies are involved in the activities to legalize the export of medicinal cannabis product, which in turn is expected to fuel growth of the medical cannabis market. For instance, in January 2018, the Government of Australia allowed cannabis producers in the region to export medicinal cannabis and cannabis products in the global market.
The global medical cannabis market is valued at US$ 3,520.7 million in 2017 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 24.4% over the forecast period (2017 – 2025).
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Legalization of medicinal cannabis in various economies is expected to drive the market growth
Some of the major factors driving growth of the market include increasing approval of medicinal cannabis products and increasing research and development activities. For instance, in March 2017, a law that allows the use of cannabis plant was signed by the German parliament. This would in turn allow the healthcare professionals to prescribe medicinal cannabis products to the patients suffering from severe health issues such as chronic pain, vomiting, and nausea. However, excessive consumption of cannabis will induce tachycardia, which will in turn increase the risk of heart attack, especially for users who already suffer from heart disease or arrhythmias. This is expected to hinder growth of the market.
Potential medical cannabis markets other than the U.S. include Canada, Israel, Australia, and Spain. Mexico is also in process to consider the legalization of cannabis. For instance, in February 2016, Medical Marijuana, Inc. launched the HempMeds Mexico – a CBD hemp oil product in the Mexico. With the launch of HempMeds Mexico, company is intended to expand its cannabis business in the Latin America, by establishing the labs, manufacturing, sales and distribution facilities in the Mexico, in coming years. Other economies are expected to consider legalization of the drug, once conclusive evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of cannabis are obtained through extensive research. Czech Republic, in 2013, legalized medical marijuana for patients suffering from chronic pain, epilepsy, chemotherapy induced side effects, and other severe disease indications. Moreover, the law allows patients with marijuana prescription to purchase the medicinal marijuana from pharmacies. However, cultivation of marijuana in not allowed in the country, and thereby suppliers need to import medicinal cannabis from other economies. This implies that there is a huge potential for growth of the medicinal cannabis industry in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
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In Middle East, among other GCC economies, only Israel has approved the medical cannabis product. Furthermore, in Africa region, Lesotho and Malawi (South Africa) government has granted the license for medicinal marijuana in 2017. For instance, In June 2017, Verve Dynamics, a Cape Town-based alternative medicines company received license from the Government of Lesotho to cultivate the cannabidiol (CBD) medicinal cannabis. Verve Dynamics intends to cultivate and produce medicinal cannabis products and export these product in South Africa.
Expansion of medicinal cannabis product by various manufacturers is a prominent factor fueling market growth
Medicinal cannabis manufacturers in the U.S. are actively focusing on expansion of their medicinal cannabis product business. For instance, in July 2016, Insys Therapeutics, Inc. received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for dronabinol oral solution- Syndros, an orally administered liquid formulation of the pharmaceutical cannabinoid dronabinol. The Syndros is indicated to be used in the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss among patients suffering from AIDS and those suffering from cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Moreover, in January 2018, Apria, Inc. entered into a distribution agreement with Cannabis Wheaton, to supply 60,000 kilograms of the cannabis products between January 2018 and February 2022. The agreement allows Aphria to expand its brand through Cannabis Wheaton’s strong distribution network in Canada.
Some of the key players operating in the global medical cannabis market include BOL Pharma, Tilray, Medreleaf Corporation, Aurora Cannabis, Inc., Canopy Growth Corporation, Insys Therapeutics, Inc., Aphria, Inc., MGC Pharmaceuticals Limited, GW Pharmaceuticals, plc, and Medical Marijuana Inc.
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