cannabis pharmaceuticals market


Positive regulatory developments are aiding the growth of the cannabis pharmaceuticals market, though more clinical data is needed to break the stigma and bring science to the fore.

According to recent market research, the global cannabis pharmaceuticals market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 76.8% between 2020 and 2027. As of 2021, Europe was the dominant region for the cannabis pharmaceuticals market and is home to some of the major manufacturers in the sector.

Cannabis: Big Pharma Opportunity or Threat?

As biotech companies grow and manufacturers continue to find promising treatments, a new market that may unlock a host of new possibilities is opening up. With much fanfare from other industries, and with quiet curiosity from Big Pharma, the growth of the legal marijuana market may yield a fertile new place to develop new commodities.

With a myriad of existing products, from topical treatments to oil capsules, the medical marijuana industry has already been a source of incredible innovation and research. Cannabis has been shown to successful treat ailments as diverse as multiple sclerosis to nausea experienced by cancer patients going through chemotherapy.

The adoption of cannabis-based medications and products is a major shift. While marijuana has been designated as a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level, many states have gone ahead to pass bills making medical marijuana use legal for certain ailments.

Where Does Big Pharma Go from Here?

With states passing legislation enabling full legalization, entrepreneurs are jumping into the new industry. The problem for Big Pharma is that it does not want to be exposed to legal backlash in areas where prohibition is still in place.

So while more legal marijuana and marijuana products being available can only be a good thing for most people, what about the pharmaceutical industry?

At first glance, it might seem logical to assume that there’s no way that marijuana or the growth of the marijuana industry could possibly affect the pharma companies. After all, the pharmaceutical industry is worth almost half a billion dollars, according to government statistics, so surely they don’t need to fear the growth of marijuana?

But Big Pharma has been observed acting incredibly hostile towards all possible growth or positive trends in the marijuana world, such as actively campaigning against the legalization of marijuana within individual states, or generally trying to counteract its growth.

Copy Cat Cannabis

What’s more, large pharmaceutical companies have been hard at work developing all manner of different synthetic cannabinoids, seemingly to try and control the release – and price – of cannabinoids in the health market.

So what future does the cannabis pharmaceuticals market have? With the rise of both medical marijuana and fully legalized, recreational marijuana, people are able to not only medicate themselves, but do so cheaply, without having to pay massive pharmaceutical conglomerates large amounts of money for simple medications.

In the meantime, small businesses and science-savvy entrepreneurs will continue to drive innovation and introduce new products and medications to the market. In a turbulent industry, pharmaceutical heavy-hitters will do what they need to stay afloat. Big Pharma will likely continue to try and slow the rise of medical marijuana while attempting to formulate their own versions. We’ll then see what the cannabis pharmaceuticals market has to say.

Interested in working in the pharmaceutical industry?  Contact Smith Hanley Associates‘ Biostatistics and Clinical Data Management Recruiter, Nihar Parikh at


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