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Wow! 92% of Patients Prefer Medical Marijuana to Opioids, New Survey Shows

The marijuana industry has been growing at a lightning-fast pace for years now, so it's not one bit surprising to see marijuana stock investors flocking to the "green rush."

Since 2012, voters in eight states have legalized recreational marijuana, while 28 states have legalized medical cannabis over the past 21 years. States like California are expected to see total cannabis sales (recreational and medical) approach $6 billion to $7 billion annually, leading to around $1 billion in annual tax revenue for the state. Colorado, which was one of the first two states to legalize adult-use pot back in 2012, tallied more than $1.3 billion in legal weed sales in 2016 and nearly $200 million in tax and licensing revenue.

Image source: Getty Images.

All eyes on medical marijuana

While the focus for marijuana proponents has long been making it legal nationwide, it's the potential medical aspects of cannabis that have taken center stage in recent years. A Quinnipiac University poll from April found that 94% of respondents want to see medical marijuana legalized across the country, which is no coincidence given how encouraging cannabinoid- and CB receptor-based research has been for select drug developers.

For example, GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) , the kingpin of all marijuana stocks based on market cap, has developed an oral cannabinoid-based drug known as Epidiolex that, in phase 3 trials, demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in seizure frequency for two rare types of childhood-onset epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. While nothing is ever a given with the Food and Drug Administration, it's looking to have a better than 50-50 shot at approval given its strong clinical performance.

Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) is another drug developer that's making waves. In 2016, the FDA approved Syndros, an oral dronabinol solution that's essentially a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannbidiol, which you probably know best as THC. The drug was approved to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as anorexia associated with AIDS. This new treatment option has the potential to generate $300 million annually in sales , according to Wall Street, but it's more importantly giving cancer patients a new antiemetic option during...


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