The medicinal marijuana business and the cannabinoid pharmaceutical market are both growing at a fast pace, and they are expected to continue on this path. Companies in the marijuana space can benefit from keeping up with these trends, and expanding their businesses when opportunity knocks.
Recent Trends in the Medicinal Marijuana Business
In the decade between 2001–2002 and 2012–2013, the number of Americans reporting using marijuana in the previous year more than doubled from 4.1% to 9.5%. This jump was noteworthy because the previous two decades showed stable numbers of marijuana users at about 4%.
By 2020, 18% of Americans reported using marijuana at least once in the previous year.
Legal sales of cannabis present a huge growth market, with estimates that the space will reach $30 billion in 2022 and $47.6 billion by 2026. Much of this growth is attributed to the legalization of medical marijuana in more states, as it created more demand and a more relaxed atmosphere toward marijuana use.
The potential for cannabis market growth does not stop with recreational and medical marijuana.
What Are Pharmaceutical Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are substances that are extracted from the cannabis plant. The two major cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and both have applications in pharmaceuticals. Scientists have identified more than 100 other cannabinoids, and the research into the potential uses of those is still ongoing.
While the FDA has not approved the cannabis plant itself for medical use, it has approved the CBD-based Epidiolex to treat certain types of seizures. It has also approved several drugs containing synthetic forms of THC. Companies in (or looking to enter) the medicinal marijuana business could experience exponential growth with an increased demand for cannabinoids.
Research Into Pharmaceuticals
The FDA recognizes the demand for more approvals of cannabis-based drugs, and it recognizes that unapproved drugs are already being used to treat conditions such as AIDS, neuropathic pain, and cancer.
The agency also provides guidance for the development of drugs from plants such as cannabis, including information on how to submit investigational new drug applications.
The marijuana legalization timeline at the federal level is murky, but there has been some movement in Congress to reform marijuana laws. If those reforms happen, an even bigger medical marijuana market will exist, perhaps along with an increase in research trials of pharmaceutical cannabinoids.
Cannabinoid Pharmaceuticals Market Trends and Business Expansion Opportunities
Global sales of pharmaceutical cannabinoids reached $943.5 million in 2021. This number is expected to grow between 2022 and 2028 by more than 100 percent.
In light of the existing trends in medical marijuana and the potential in the cannabinoid pharmaceuticals market, marijuana businesses should prepare to expand their horizons. To help determine if they should consider expansion, companies should:
- Keep up with current marijuana research and legislation efforts
- Monitor medical and other blogs to track the medical conditions for which cannabis is helpful
- Revisit their marketing audience to identify potential new segments in medical marijuana and cannabinoid pharmaceuticals
If you want to get into or expand your existing medicinal marijuana business to help meet the growing demand, explore the financing options offered by Bespoke Financial. We think outside the box and offer tech-focused solutions and flexible financing that target the specific needs of your company.