Big Pharma Will Lose $4 Billion Per Year Due to Medical Marijuana

One of the not-so-secret aspects of the fight against marijuana legalization is that pharmaceutical companies are actively campaigning against it out of fear they'll lose money. Well, according to a new report, Big Pharma actually does have a lot to fear.

A recent report found that Big Pharma stands to lose as much as $4 billion per year if medical marijuana became legal in all 50 states. The information is based off a study from 2016 by the University of Georgia, which found that states with legalized medicinal cannabis had less Medicare prescriptions than those where it's still illegal. The study found that already pharmaceutical companies are losing $166 million annually on drugs where marijuana is now offered as an alternative.

The study also identified nine areas where medical marijuana will most affect Big Pharma: Anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, nerve pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Tourette syndrome and glaucoma. The researchers found that even if marijuana was only prescribed in a small percentage of these cases, pharmaceutical companies could lose as much as $4 to 5 billion. 

While that sounds like a tremendous amount of money, it's really just a small dip for the pharmaceutical industry, which is currently valued at $425 billion. And it's even less noteworthy when you consider those losses will be spread out amongst multiple companies. Pfizer, one of the largest Big Pharma companies, estimates they will only lose $500 million out of their $53 billion revenue due to medical marijuana.

But we're guessing even with these small losses, Big Pharma is donating heavily to politicians who claim marijuana leads to drug addiction. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

(h/t Salon)

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Lawmakers in Quebec failed to pass a bill that would have increased the minimum age for purchasing and consuming cannabis from 18 to 21 before the end of the legislative session. When the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) was elected to power in Quebec last year, they brought with them a promise to raise the legal age for buying and consuming recreational cannabis. Right now, anyone 18 or older can legally purchase cannabis in Quebec, which is tied with Alberta for having the lowest legal age for recreational cannabis.

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