Merrill Lynch mulls corporate cannabis

Posted on December 18th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchPhiladelphia Inquirer columnist Chris Goldstein got hold of a leaked 45-page internal equity report from high-finance titan Merrill Lynch, wealth management division of Bank of America, looking at the future prospects for America's cannabis industry. Goldstein wrote it up for his occassional series Philly420 Dec. 8 under the title "Merrill Lynch is bullish on marijuana." Goldstein finds: "Carefully researched, it was an interesting peek at how heavy hitters on Wall Street are starting to view the expanding industry."

The report includes basic information on cannabis and the cannabinoids THC and CBD and their potential medical applications, with a comprehensive overview of the patchwork of state medical marijuana laws. It goes on to offer "tantalizing information" about publicly traded companies already operating in the sphere. These include GW Pharmaceuticals, now conducting FDA-approved clinical trial on children with a CBD product dubbed Epidiolex. Some of the children currently involved the trial study for epilepsy treatment are in Pennsylvania. GW just made headlines (in "the trades" at least) when it presented the most recent data from the trial to the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting in Philadelphia. The company is the only one in the world to have gone through the complete process of getting a cannabis-derived drug approved for prescription use—although not in the United States. GW's product Sativex, a sublingual THC spray, is approved for multiple sclerosis patients in the UK and Canada. The Merrill Lynch report openly says they are "bullish on the cannabis testing market."

With companies already seeking patents on medical use of cannabinoids, the Merrill Lynch report is sure to enthuse libertarian-capitalist marijuana enthusiasts—and to fret old-school hippies who fear the hegemony of "corporate cannabis."
Photo by Hammer51012  

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