Investment Strategy

Is there an Economic Dichotomy between Pot and Painkillers?

Not that long ago, marijuana was illegal across the land, and known as a gateway drug that would lead one down the path of no return. The opioids were considered a medical breakthrough in managing debilitating pain, allowing those suffering from cancer and the like to lead better, more pain free lives. Fast forward to today, and the perception is reversed. Pot has become the magic elixir of our time, with little to no scientific data supporting this.

First making a behind the scenes, end around into society as a medicinal cure, pot has pervaded and become accepted as a norm and its non-threatening use is now both legal and heralded in states around the country. Opioids, in turn, have become the tool of the devil, abused by addicted users and prescribed by evil physicians. It is easier to sneak across our southern border than it is to get a prescription for pain medicine today.

The data listed above portrays a very green future for the marijuana market in the Unites States, both medical and recreational. Anecdotally, the medical industry is much divided on the use. Time will tell if their support will grow, which would of course necessitate support from the FDA.

The industry is enormous, and the players are all taking the field, both large and small. On the federal level, marijuana is illegal, thus making the banking system void to use as a source of deposit. Any legalization on the federal level would obviously be a boon for the grass industry.

Opioids in their legal form are prescribed by doctors to relieve pain in their patients. Lumped into this broad category is heroin and fentanyl. Heroin is a deadly, addictive narcotic that is illegal. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, only much stronger. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are now the most common drugs involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States.

In 2017, 59 percent of opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl. When you add the deaths related to heroin, you find that the vast majority of the opioid problem is in the illegal arena. People will always misuse prescription drugs, pot and alcohol. One is almost branded a criminal when seeking out pain relief from his or her physician today. One doctor says no to Percocet, while another doctor can’t prescribe marijuana fast enough. Therein lies the paradox.

Whenever an issue arises that you don’t quite understand, ask yourself who stands to benefit, and follow the money trail. It would seem that those who produce the opioids, Big Pharma like Purdue and others, would be the place to start your inquiry. The deep pockets allow advertising, lobbying, and sales and marketing of these products.

There are a lot of fingers in the pie who make money from these drugs. The neophyte market of marijuana will also rise and fall as the supply and demand curves move with the money trail. If the sin tax that is applied to alcohol and tobacco is levied on marijuana, it will be a game changer for the industry.

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