The largest CBD drug manufacturer GW was acquired

On February 3, 2021, Irish pharmaceutical company Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc has agreed to acquire UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals Plc in a cash and stock transaction valued at US$7.2 billion. This is the largest acquisition in the cannabis industry to date and a key move for pharmaceutical companies to enter the cannabis industry. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year. After the news of this acquisition came out, GW Pharma stock soared 46%.


GW is one of the largest cannabinoid companies in the world. Founded in 1998, it specializes in the discovery, development and commercialization of cannabis prescription drugs. It launched the world’s first botanical cannabinoid prescription drug Sativex (nabiximols), another CBD drug Epidiolex is suitable for children with epilepsy and has been approved by the US FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for marketing. Jazz mainly develops drugs to improve sleep. In recent years, oncology-related businesses have also been growing.

The acquisition of the world’s largest CBD drug manufacturer means that the global pharmaceutical field is not only concerned about the potential of cannabinoids in the drug field, but has taken concrete actions to formally enter the cannabis field. This will also stimulate more companies to invest more financial, material, manpower and time costs in the development of cannabinoid drugs, and will also stimulate the research and development of cannabinoid drugs.

In December 2020, the United Nations voted to lower the level of control of cannabis and cannabis-related substances. This decision cleared the way for global cannabis research and application to medical uses. The application of cannabinoid medicine is becoming a certain trend.

Justin Gover, CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, also stated that “In the past 20 years, our GW drugs have proven that cannabinoids are a compelling discipline… Cannabinoids have seen a very significant increase in approved indications. Potential.” GW’s main product Epidiolex has annual sales of approximately US$510 million within two years after its launch.

The CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Bruce Cozadd (Bruce Cozadd) saw its opportunity to expand sales in Europe. He believes that cannabinoid drugs still have a lot of room for growth. Over time, more and more doctors will realize the usefulness of cannabinoid drugs.

Behind the acquisition of Jazz and GW, we can also see the different strategies of some major international companies investing in medical cannabinoids.

Jazz enters the field of cannabinoid pharmaceuticals through investment and acquisition, while GW’s strategy is to pay more attention to research and development.

GW develops a set of products through the traditional regulatory approval process, which includes conducting expensive clinical trials, to stand out in the field of medical cannabis. GW attaches great importance to research and development, and it is through this strategy that it has become the world’s largest medical cannabis company. In the first three quarters of fiscal year 2019 and 2020, GW’s R&D expenditure was US$290.5 million.


GW has 278 R&D personnel, far more than 192 engaged in manufacturing and operations. According to its financial disclosure information, the company has exported its products to more than 30 countries for commercial or research purposes. GW has 767 patents issued outside the United States and 57 issued within the United States. In addition, there are 259 patents pending worldwide. The applied and pending patents include planting, plant extraction, extraction technology, drug formulation, drug delivery, cannabinoid treatment, germplasm resources, etc. GW leased three facilities under construction in the UK with a total area of 2.1 million square feet.

Can unrestricted purchase of cannabis solve drug abuse?

According to the latest report, since February 1, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration TGA approved cannabis drugs for sale in pharmacies, and patients can buy them as needed without a prescription. For a time, Australian marijuana stocks rose sharply, and the global medical marijuana industry set off a new wave of discussions on the use of medical marijuana. Today, when the legalization of marijuana is gradually on the right track, the value of medical marijuana is beyond doubt, and it has an inhibitory effect on drug abuse. The latest research data are as follows:

Legalization of marijuana ≠ a surge in the number of users

For a long time, the opposition condemning and opposing the legalization of marijuana in the United States has always referred to marijuana as an “introduction drug”. Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state in 2012, the local youth cannabis use seems to have not deterioration.

A new study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment showed that it targets adolescents (12-17 years old), early adopters (18-20 years old), and late use in Colorado and Washington, USA People (21-24 years old) conducted a 17-month survey, and the results showed that when teenagers use marijuana, it did not cause more substance use disorder SUD. The truth is that in some states and regions where marijuana has not yet been legalized, many young people are more likely to use illicit drugs and require treatment for the use of cocaine, opioids, and methamphetamine. At the same time, the number of patients increase yearly.

This study was conducted by a research team from Temple University and University of Tennessee at the University of Tennessee. In the investigation, the researchers found that since the legalization of marijuana, relevant opposition departments believe that it will trigger a public health crisis and cause youth groups. Abuse, but through the expansion of the research area, it shows that the use of cannabis is not positively related to the abuse. The research team said that in the future, more long-term experiments will be conducted on the elderly to detect the relationship between marijuana and other abused addictive substances.

Paul Armentano, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control, also believes that most people who use marijuana will not continue to use other serious addictive substances, and will not lead to an increase in the treatment of illegal drug use disorders. This fact overturns the arguments of the opponents of marijuana legalization. To a large extent, this will lead the United States to further liberalize marijuana policy. The Journal of Adolescent Health also published a study showing that recreational marijuana is legal. Globalization will not lead to a surge in the number of young people using cannabis.


The compliance rate of cannabis is increasing year by year

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse NIDA National Drug Early Warning System NDEWS released data on drug treatment in Philadelphia in 2020, the number of people entering treatment centers due to marijuana use has dropped by 80% in the past 5 years. The lowest value in history.

In this investigation, a total of 12 communities were involved, and new drugs and drug trends were monitored for indicators such as overdose deaths, hospital admissions, hospital cases, exposure calls of poisoning centers, and law enforcement seizures. The results found that in 2015, 1,086 people in Philadelphia were referred for drug treatment due to psychological dependence due to marijuana use, accounting for 22.6% of the city’s hospital admissions that year; in 2019, data showed that only 213 people received drug treatment for marijuana. Accounted for 6.9% of the total. During the same period, the proportion of addictive drug treatments in the region has increased. In 2015, heroin withdrawal treatment accounted for 25.1%, and in 2019 this number soared to 46%, and the hospital admission rate for prescription opioids was even higher. Is doubled.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NORML regional organizer Chris Goldstein wrote in an op-ed that the number of marijuana treatments in Philadelphia has plummeted, mainly because of the legalization of marijuana. At the beginning of 2014, the compliance rate of local cannabis use increased by 70%. In 2017, Larry Krasner served as the district attorney, which also enhanced the enforcement of laws and regulations on cannabis legalization, prompting further local implementation To reduce drug abuse behavior.

In 2019, blacks accounted for 72% of patients referred for marijuana in Philadelphia, and whites accounted for 11%. This data also reflects the widespread racial prejudice in the United States. Relevant law enforcement agencies believe that users who rely on hazardous substances will most likely occupy social resources and pose huge safety risks. As states gradually improve laws and regulations regarding the legalization of marijuana, marijuana consumers will receive fair and just use rights, and law enforcement agencies need to solve the most practical safety issues.


Cannabis use can reduce drug abuse

A new study published by the joint research team of Yale University and the University of California, Davis in the British Medical Journal reveals the link between marijuana use and the decline in opioid mortality .

The study, directed by Greta Hsu and Balázs Kovács, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of 812 counties in the United States and 23 regions that allow cannabis dispensaries to be opened in legal form. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 1 In dispensary areas, the number of opioid deaths fell by 17%. In areas with two cannabis dispensaries, the number became 21%. In areas with three cannabis dispensaries, the number of opioid deaths dropped by 8.5%.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, more than 67,000 people died from opioid overdose in the United States, and more than 10 million people were abusing prescription opioid drugs, such as fentanyl in 2018. It caused 46,000 deaths in the year, accounting for 2/3 of the total deaths that year.

In its investigation, the research team found that the widespread use of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is potentially linked to a reduction in opioid-related mortality. The research team investigated the operations of active cannabis dispensaries in various states from 2014 to 2018 and found that in most consumer groups, the use of marijuana and the use of opioids fluctuate. In areas with high cannabis use, the use of opioids has decreased, and consumers will not buy two drugs at the same time. This causal relationship greatly helps alleviate the opioid crisis and can be used as an advocacy recommendation.

The University of Arizona Meyer and Enid Zuckerman School of Public Health released related studies showing that the use of marijuana to treat patients with chronic pain can reduce the use of opioids. It is understood that the experiment organized a total of 7222 long-term chronic pain patients to participate. Compared with patients who have used marijuana for related treatments, their opioid use has been significantly reduced, and the number of visits has been reduced.

In most areas where medical marijuana is legalized, patients with cancer, AIDS, depression, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and other diseases can apply for the use of medical marijuana as an auxiliary treatment, which can play a slow-release effect. Mankind still has a long way to go on the road to overcome various diseases. Since marijuana is safer, more effective and less harmful to the body than opioids, it is self-evident which drug we should use.