A few decades ago, research into the medical benefits of marijuana was common and was funded by both private and public grants. Almost every major university had some program underway for studying the subject. But as the government began a more aggressive approach to regulating or prohibiting drug use, marijuana research fell by the wayside. Many of the same studies became illegal, and those found to be doing such research faced harsh penalties, including extensive jail time.
But during recent years, scientists and medical doctors – as well as their own patients and groups dedicated to legalizing marijuana for medical use – have made headway, and now marijuana use is officially sanctioned in many jurisdictions. In places like California, for example, it is possible to obtain prescriptions to use it for medical purposes. Many who use this medicinal pot claim that it works well for the treatment of chronic pain, treatment of glaucoma, and other maladies. Because of the increase in popularity of marijuana as a medical drug, many companies are hoping to profit from this drug, by growing, distributing, or otherwise providing marijuana to consumers who need it as a prescription medication.
The global healthcare company Bayer – known mostly for its household name aspirin products – for example, recently signed licensing agreements with a small biotech company in the United Kingdom that specializes in efficient delivery of the active ingredient in marijuana. By providing this active chemical component in an aerosol spray, the company hopes to attract those users who are concerned about the bad health effects of smoking pot. Other mega-corporations are experimenting with ways to provide medical marijuana on a large scale. If the drug ever becomes legal, they want to be ready to capitalize on the new market and get the jump on their potential competition.
By buying stock in companies that are positioned to benefit from the future of medical marijuana, you can get in on the ground floor of any potential breakthrough in this biotech and healthcare sector. But because the drugs are not yet profitable – at least to those selling them legally – many investors who put money into backing companies that are primarily in the marijuana business may not see earnings for many years, if ever.
A safer bet is to buy into companies that are already profitable by selling prescription medicines. If marijuana research convinces legislators to allow it to be sold like ordinary medicine, these companies will surely get a piece of the action. They may get their market share of the business by packaging and distributing it, by coming up with new medicines based on it or by growing the raw product and converting it into a usable prescription medicine. But in the meantime, if you have invested in these companies in order to take advantage of the profits that might come from marijuana, you don’t have to simply sit and wait for the future. By investing in solid, profitable companies, you will benefit immediately. And if the future is bright for medical pot, you’ll be positioned to take full advantage of the new and revolutionary products.