Legal marijuana is about more – much more – than recreational use. In fact, its medicinal potential, unchained, could be worth billions more than the billion-dollar consumables market.
Study after study has shown that up to two dozen medical conditions could be treated with marijuana.
Two of its more intriguing components, non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have a clear impact on brain function and pain management.
Glaucoma sufferers, for example, have long known that pot can reduce ocular swelling. Many people swear by pot's ability to improve lung function, counterintuitive as that may seem. And people suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis will tell you that this drug can greatly ease the daily pain they must live with.
Results like those are part of the reason medical marijuana has been approved in 24 states and in many countries around the world – and the reason why the medical marijuana market topped $4 billion in 2015.
Just one company, a biotech that first hit my radar in 2014 and has delivered peak gains of more than 1,100% over the past three years, is favorably positioned to make a classic "corner-the-market" move on this incredibly lucrative segment.
I'm recommending it once more today, after a round of quadruple-digit gains, because I think there's every reason for it to happen all over again…
This Company Will Dominate Cannabis-Based Therapies
Like I said, the legal market for medical marijuana exceeded $4 billion in 2015 and will likely reach $35 billion by early next decade, according to ArcView Market Research and New Frontier Data.
That got the scientists at the Cambridge, UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals Plc. (Nasdaq ADR: GWPH) thinking: If marijuana has such a broad range of potentially healing properties, and is finally receiving more respect among doctors, why not build a business around CBD and THC?
GW has an unbeatable head start in the race to build drug franchises around the healing powers of cannabis.
You see, all the way back in 1998 – the Dark Ages, in terms of legal cannabis – this company successfully lobbied the Home Office and Department of Health for the country's first-ever "cultivation license" to grow cannabis for commercial, scientific research.
For the past five years, the firm has been cultivating strains of the plant with an eye to increasing concentrations of these two key ingredients. This effort has made it possible for GW to provide its engineers with a robust supply of the raw material they need as they ramp up research into a broad range of new drug candidates.
GW's scientists are looking to capitalize on a series of medical breakthroughs made in the 1990s, when researchers first realized that the body actually has three systems that regulate disease and pain. Two of these, the central nervous system and the immune system, were already well understood. But what researchers discovered was that our body is also regulated by proteins called endocannabinoid receptors.
THC and CBD go right to these receptors and can have a profound impact on the body's various mental and physical responses. GW Pharma has focused on the impact of CBD, which targets the brain's receptors that control mood and brain seizures.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.