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July 1, 2018

The Pharmaceutical CBD Market

  • The FDA last week approved UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, a “pure plant-derived CBD” extract shown to drastically reduce seizures in children with epileptic syndromes.
  • Marking the FDA’s first-ever approval of a cannabis-derived pharmaceutical product, the DEA has 90 days (until September 23) to schedule Epidiolex, a landmark decision being carefully scrutinized by the industry at large.
  • Sales of Epidiolex will effectively open the pharmaceutical CBD market; the Hemp Business Journal (a division of New Frontier Data) forecasts the drug to generate between $15 million and $30 million in sales through 2018, and $180 million in 2019. 
  • HBJ expects the DEA to schedule Epidiolex as a Schedule IV drug and recommend that CBD be rescheduled from a Schedule I drug.
  • Continued regulatory action by the FDA is expected against illicit claims and sales of unapproved, CBD-related products marketed with unproven medical claims.
You Asked, We Answered
How long will it take for banks to start accepting cash being taken in through dispensaries and other cannabis businesses?

One of the lingering myths about the industry is that cannabis-related businesses do not have access to any banks or financial services. Cannabis businesses may be able to create accounts and store their cash and get checking accounts, but it remains true that plant-touching business generally has less access to such financial services like loans, credit-card payment processing, and revolving lines of credits.

With California’s adult-use market, the world’s largest, now getting underway, and larger states (Michigan, New Jersey) on the verge of legalization, the growing industry will put pressure on Congress to address the industry’s banking challenges. With nearly $10 billion in sales expected in 2018 alone, banking restrictions are becoming increasingly significant impediments to growth, and are driving higher costs and inefficiency.
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J J McCoyThe DEA Is Rescheduling Epidiolex, But Not (Yet) Cannabis or CBD

By J. J. McCoy,
Senior Managing Editor, New Frontier Data
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week made history: By giving approval for U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals’ application to market Epidiolex (to medically treat severe forms of epilepsy), it marked the FDA’s groundbreaking admission that cannabis has medical value...
Read Here
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