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Organic Care of California BLOG

 Here is a few Blogs written by the owners Chaz & Shantel Cornellier about the industry and things they have experienced or learned while owning a cannabis delivery service in Chico, Ca in 2017 under Prop 215 and then moving to Sacramento to own a State Liscensed Delivery, C9-0000003-LIC, immediately in 2018. It has been a crazy ride and Chaz loves to explain what the market is doing and how he sees the company doing in the near future.

Please let us know if there is anything you want us specifically to write about or have any questions. Always open to input and ways to get better. Can reach us @ [email protected]

We truly work for YOU and always want your input. 

Blog / / Green Truths: Unveiling Big Pharma's Stance on Cannabis Legalization

Green Truths: Unveiling Big Pharma's Stance on Cannabis Legalization

As a dispensary owner in California, I have seen firsthand the transformative impact cannabis can have on individuals' lives. From relieving chronic pain to managing stress and anxiety, cannabis offers a natural alternative to many pharmaceutical products. However, despite its growing acceptance and proven benefits, there is significant resistance to its federal legalization, particularly from the pharmaceutical industry, or "Big Pharma." Here, I'll explore why Big Pharma is apprehensive about cannabis becoming federally legal, focusing on several key factors.


1. Competition with Prescription Drugs

Big Pharma's primary concern with the federal legalization of cannabis is the potential competition it poses to prescription drugs. Cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating conditions like chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, often with fewer side effects than traditional medications. If cannabis becomes federally legal, patients might opt for it over more expensive pharmaceutical options, leading to a decrease in the sales of these drugs.

2. Lack of Patentability

Another significant issue for Big Pharma is the lack of patentability of cannabis. Pharmaceuticals companies invest billions of dollars in developing new drugs, which they can patent, giving them exclusive rights to sell those drugs for a period of time. This exclusivity allows them to recoup their investment and make substantial profits. Cannabis, being a plant, cannot be patented in its natural form, which means that pharmaceutical companies cannot monopolize its sale and distribution as they can with synthetic drugs.

3. Regulatory Challenges

The regulatory landscape for cannabis is complex and still evolving. Federal legalization would require Big Pharma to navigate a new set of regulations and compliance standards, which could be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, as cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, there is limited research on its long-term effects, making it a risky venture for these companies to invest in.

4. Public Perception and Market Shift

There's also the issue of public perception. As cannabis becomes more socially accepted, the narrative around traditional pharmaceuticals and their side effects becomes more scrutinized. People are increasingly seeking natural and holistic treatments, which cannabis offers. This shift in public opinion could lead to a broader market trend away from conventional pharmaceuticals, impacting Big Pharma's bottom line.

5. Research and Development Costs

For Big Pharma to enter the cannabis market, significant research and development (R&D) would be required. This includes clinical trials, which are costly and time-consuming. Given the uncertainty and the regulatory hurdles associated with cannabis, these companies might be hesitant to make such large investments, especially when their current business models are highly profitable.

6. Healthcare Provider Skepticism

Many healthcare providers remain skeptical about cannabis due to its federal status and the lack of comprehensive clinical trials. This skepticism can influence prescription habits and patient recommendations. If cannabis becomes federally legal, it will necessitate a shift in how healthcare providers are educated about its use, which Big Pharma may see as a threat to their established relationships with these providers.

7. Insurance and Pricing Dynamics

Currently, most insurance companies do not cover medical cannabis, meaning patients pay out-of-pocket. This dynamic could change with federal legalization. If insurance companies start covering cannabis, it would directly compete with pharmaceuticals that are often covered by insurance. This could lead to a price war, where Big Pharma would either have to reduce prices or lose market share.

8. The Opioid Crisis and Accountability

The opioid crisis has brought a lot of negative attention to Big Pharma. Cannabis is often touted as a safer alternative to opioids for pain management, which could lead to further scrutiny and accountability for pharmaceutical companies. They might be concerned that the federal legalization of cannabis could amplify the criticism they face over the opioid epidemic.
In summary, Big Pharma's apprehension towards the federal legalization of cannabis stems from a variety of economic, regulatory, and societal factors. The potential for cannabis to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry's business model is significant, posing a threat to their profits and market dominance. As a dispensary owner, I believe that the health and well-being of individuals should be the priority, and cannabis offers a valuable, natural alternative that should be accessible to all who can benefit from it. The resistance from Big Pharma, while understandable from a business perspective, overlooks the broader potential benefits of cannabis for public health and wellbeing.