Big Pharma’s Takeover Threat to the Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry is making serious waves around the globe. Not only are the legal barriers to production, sale and consumption changing rapidly in many countries, the evidence behind medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), is mounting. More than ever before scientists are able to study the health benefits of cannabis without the legal restrictions they once faced.
It’s now commonly known that cannabis has been proven to assist with a wide variety of health issues. Some examples include CBD’s ability to fight tumors, specifically breast, colon and prostate cancers. It has also been shown to be extremely beneficial in treating the difficult side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment. Cannabidiol is also able to treat mood disorders, specifically anxiety and depression. It has been found to be a viable alternative when SSRI medications fail. Need more? Cannabis can help with chronic pain management, treatment of gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders as well.
Cannabis is becoming wildly popular as an alternative medicine because it hasn’t been linked to any serious side effects - especially when you consider the extreme side effects that many pharmaceuticals are associated with. There have been numerous studies demonstrating that it is actually impossible to overdose on cannabis and cannabinoids. On the other hand, the news is full of statistics about the overdose deaths directly tied to the use of prescription drugs, which lead to nearly 30,000 overdose deaths a year in the United States alone.
It’s pretty obvious that the cannabis industry is making huge strides in many areas of medicine. So much so that it is starting to threaten the monopoly of the big names in the global pharmaceutical industry.
The Big Pharma Threat to the Cannabis Industry
Monstrosities such as Monsanto and Bayer have been paying close attention to the cannabis industry. They see the huge potential to profit from cannabis, and are beginning to target the locally regulated cannabis markets. They are also working towards reversing the slow shift towards relaxing the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug in the United States. How are they doing this? By using their seemingly endless financial resources, and their lobbying influence to alter government policy and corner corporate ownership.
There are already several strains of marijuana that are approved by the FDA but only patented for use by Big Pharma. Despite the fact that marijuana still remains illegal in the United States, it hasn’t stopped Big Pharma from using its influence to secure patent rights to grow it. They are also being allowed to create their own synthetic cannabinoids. So, despite the fact that the natural plant remains illegal, the processed extracts and derivatives, when produced by Big Pharma, are not. If this seems illogical, it is because it is.
On top of this, they are actively lobbying against the local initiatives to legalize cannabis plants and products. In their world view, if they can inhibit local producers and businesses, they can make it impossible for anyone but themselves to profit from the industry. Because it is extremely difficult for any company, no matter the size, to compete with the Big Pharma behemoths like Bayer and Monsanto.
The Notorious Duo: Bayer & Monsanto
There is a merger underway of unprecedented size, between the pharmaceutical giants Bayer and Monsanto. The deal is estimated to be worth nearly $66 billion and despite the many issues facing the deal, it seems it will be going ahead. Monsanto shares are up, senior financial analysts are increasing the likelihood of takeover from 50% to 75%, and even Warren Buffet has backed it. If this deal goes ahead, and it likely will, it could have huge ramifications for the cannabis industry.
Monsanto is known for spraying known toxins worldwide, over nearly all the food we eat. They patent GMO seeds, and then persecute small farmers who unknowingly grow them through accidental cross pollination of crops. They destroy local agricultural practice and knowledge, and develop varieties of seeds that do not re-seed, but instead need to be repurchased every year with dangerous pesticides and fertilizers. They are the creators of Agent Orange and DDT.
Bayer, not to be out done, is notorious for under reporting serious health issues related to their prescription drugs, like the side effects from birth control and painkillers. They continued to distribute contaminated milk to children and HIV infected blood. They have been found guilty of false advertising, and cheating the Medicaid system in the United States.
Both of these giant monopolies, are joining forces for a possibly unstoppable monopoly on the medications we need, the foods we eat, and potentially the cannabis industry as a whole.
Just like Monsanto has already caused untold damage throughout the modern agricultural industry by spreading and regulating the use of genetically modified seeds, it is now expected that these trade secrets will be shared with Bayer, and including genetically modified cannabis plants. This could destroy the current diversity and health of the cannabis plant population. It could have terrible ramifications for small to medium size growers.
It is expected that Bayer will continue to use its clout within the industry to corner the market on cannabis as a prescription drug. It is already lobbying against legalization, instead focusing on securing patents on its own strains of approved cannabis to use in their own FDA approved (and protected) medications.
Monsanto enjoys a very close relationship with another notorious player in the cannabis industry, Scott’s Miracle-Gro. This company has already talked about buying out the entire industry, and has conspired with Monsanto to prevent unassociated companies from gaining access to trade shows and events. Scott’s has already bought out many smaller hydroponic cannabis producers, so there is fear that this relationship will be exploited for the benefit of a Monsanto-Bayer merger.
Call to Action
Because this merger threatens our food, our medicine, and our cannabis industry, it is important to do your research before making any purchases. Who owns the company? Where do the ingredients come from? Are they local? Are they Organic? A detailed list is located here.