Toward a legal, national market for cannabis

A tenuous relationship exists between Big pharma, the supplement market and dispensaries with regard to cannabis’ legality. (Photo: Cannabis Science)

The story’s out in Pharmaceutical Commerce magazine: “Medical marijuana looks for a place in conventional drug distribution.” It’s the result of some of my calls and writings on the topic of legal cannabis.

Frustrations are great as the right hand of the U.S. federal government (DEA) either doesn’t know — or care, or approve — of the actions, research and recommendations of its own left hand (NIH among others). Also, it’s interesting that some of the same Big Pharma industry players that fund crackdowns on marijuana-related crimes (according to current laws) may well be seeking ways to cash-in on the eventuality of legal cannabis commerce. Currently, money crossing state lines can lead to issues with money laundering, since the lowly weed is still an illegal Schedule 1 substance.

Changes are coming from a few corners of the medical cannabis world — as my investigations, only some of which are published, attest. Eventually at the state and federal levels, the day will come when cannabis is as broadly accepted, profitable and legal as any FDA-approved supplement, OTC drug or prescription remedy.  Ongoing research, advocacy and public support make it seem inevitable if not imminent.

The story linked here includes interviews surrounding pharmaceutical business-related developments. But the medicinal/health benefits-related aspect of this plant don’t end with conventional drug development, owing much to proponents of the whole-plant entourage effect. There’s more to the story than this relatively 101-level view written for mainstream, non-canabis-versed executives.

News from other corners of the “legal weed” industry will be posted here and/or various media outlets soon.

NOTE: Research and writing may continue; contact Bob Sperber if you have knowledge and legal experience with the legal ‘edibles’ market. This is business; no time for stoner talk. Contact via phone, message or email per this website’s About page.

War over water? Believe it (or A.T. Kearney)

Governments are buckling under the weight of inequality and aging populations. (Click to biggie-size in a new browser tab.)

CLICK TO BIGGIE-SIZE, and see how worsening inequality and aging populations contribute to global destablization.

War over water? If we can have wars over oil, why not water, farmland and other resources that drive economic development? It could happen, according to Nausheen Kaul, principal with A.T. Kearney, advisor to some of the world’s largest corporations.

That was just one nugget from Kaul’s presentation on global economic trends. (My straight-news version of it’s here.) His main goal was insight-shedding, not fear-mongering.

But it struck me how, based on the data they get from firms such as Kearney, how global organizations react: They’ve already begun moving to acquire or otherwise secure the world’s water supplies and prime agricultural real estate, Kaul said.

What are the implications of this war-over-water business, beyond pure monetary gain?

There are a few ways to look at it. One is that that massive land-and-water grabs by Western firms will stabilize developing economies. Another perspective is that this activity will amounts to economic colonization and will fuel the conflict as surely as the British political colonization did…and will ultimately fail. A third perspective is that conflict is inevitable, and given the regulatory climate, Big Money in the West must do what they it does because regulations allow it and shareholders demand it; if Coke doesn’t gobble-up the world’s water and land, Pepsi will.

As global financial leaders invest, governments will continue to buckle under the pressure of aging populations and worsening inequality.

Natural resource and political instability, Kaul said, is already causing a “Global Resource Nexis” in which the interplay between the supply and demand of food, energy and water are driving some troubling developments. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be “hyper-urbanized” into cities, governments will buckle under the pressure to accommodate aging populations and technology developments will make or break efforts to feed more people, sustainably and with fewer resources.

Kaul presented solutions for how companies can prepare, but they’re all about benefits to business. Is what’s good for business always good for mankind?

I’d like to know, but don’t comment. Rather, contact me directly if you have a means of partnering with me to create some actionable good I can afford to help you with.

Dead simple marketing: How ‘Social’ is the new Soylent Green

Goin' social in Tucson

Goin’ social with the Contract Packaging Association at the Tucson Omni/National

Okay, we get that Spam is a protected trademark, unless it has a lowercase “s,” in which case it refers to the virtual analog of the canned pink, meaty stuff. And Kleenex ain’t just any paper product. Unlike brand names, however, there’s no legal department to remind us of the true meaning of buzzwords. Like “social.”

What’s social mean? For starters, like Soylent Green, it’s about PEOPLE! Not thumbs smudging a smartphone or myopic drones spamming-out 144-character cyber-droppings on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn just because somebody told them to.

My attendance at a recent confab of the Contract Packaging Association, particularly some presentations and a group of attendees — enterprising outsourcers — led me to some deep thoughts under the hood. For this crowd, succeeding in business hinges first and foremost on real as well as virtual, relationships. That, and some golf, decent meals and some good drink (pictured).

I connected those dots and published them in dead trees and online, in the column titled, “Where’s this Relationship Going?” There you’ll find links to experts on both social…and socializing.

‘Dragon’s blood’ used to treat canine cancer patients

This 'blood' is sap tapped from rainforest trees.

The ‘blood’s’ actually tapped sap from rainforest trees.

No, it’s not blood, or — duh — from dragons. But a new prescription drug carrying the nickname “dragon’s blood” is being developed for animal as well as human treatment. Tapped from a substance in rainforest tree, the latest drug of its type under development is, SP-303, an isolated and purified form of the medicinal rainforest plant Croton lechleri, seeks to treat chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID) in dogs. Drugs for human use have already been approved.

A variant native Latin American plant’s red resin — source of the nickname among indigenous populations — gained US approval for the treatment of HIV-associated diarrhea in humans in December 2012.

The company, Jaguar Animal Health, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Napo Pharmaceuticals, received an investigational new animal drug application (INADA) number SP-303, and seeks to file an application for this indication later in the year. Jaguar and parent Napo are exclusively focused on marketing rainforest plant-derived drugs, nutraceuticals, and food supplements.

Read more in my full story, “‘Dragon’s blood’ used to treat chemo-induced diarrhea is slotted for dogs undergoing cancer treatment,” online at Pharmaceutical Commerce.

Yummy science: 3D-printing of human ‘liver strips’

liver printer3D printing of live, human liver? Yup. Same for tissue with blood vessels, as well as kidney, muscle and breast cancer.  It all holds promise for the future, and sure beats cranking out plastic guns for the betterment of humankind. Basically,  it’s  done by pushing living cells through what amounts to inkjet printer nozzles. Here’s an excerpt from the story at Pharmaceutical Commerce:

Organovo (San Diego; www.organovo.com), is among the more ambitious firms, having bioprinted in the lab….Bioprinted liver tissue holds the most immediate promise; Organovo announced in late January that it had delivered its bioprinted liver tissue to an outside laboratory for experimentation. The biopprinted liver strips, roughly 20 cells thick, could provide a reliable (and profitable) supply for use in drug toxicity testing.

READ THE FULL STORY >>