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The Next Five Years to See a Boom in Cannabis Pharmaceuticals

The sales of three cannabis drugs so far approved by the FDA could double by 2025, market analysts say
03 September 2021
2 min read
The Next Five Years to See a Boom in Cannabis Pharmaceuticals

The new report by Prohibition Partners, which assesses the current state and prospects of the legal cannabis market, makes a favorable forecast for the immediate future of cannabis drug manufacturers.

According to the British market intelligence firm, the three FDA-approved cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals have reached annual sales of just shy of $1.07 billion (€900 million). The market size for these three drugs—Dronabinol, Sativex, and Epidiolex—is projected to grow to $2.14 (€1.8) billion by 2025.

Setting Sights on a Moving Target

Cannabis is the number one most popular illicit substance in the world, with at least 200 million people using it. It’s estimated that as many as 40% of those users may consume cannabis medicinally. Emerging research points to the drug’s efficacy for many medical conditions, and the gradual removal of the stigma that cannabis use carries to this day may draw more patients to this medicine. So, the market is there, and the demand will likely follow.

However, establishing oneself in the medical marijuana space and staying there isn’t easy. According to Barbara Pastori, director of strategy and data at Prohibition Partners, the current balance of the approved vs unapproved pharmaceuticals can easily shift when new innovations upend the status quo. And it is believed that about 250 clinical studies of cannabis and cannabis-like compounds are carried out annually.

A Lot of Pain and a Lot of Gain (Hopefully)

The report also highlights the fact that pain management seems to be the most promising direction for the cannabis sector to evolve. The slew of anecdotal evidence from the ‘Wild West’ of medical marijuana states shows that the substance is an effective treatment for cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and pain associated with MS and inflammation.

Yet, some estimates say, between $63-85 (€53-72) billion are spent globally on traditional non-cannabis pain medications, and none of the approved cannabinoid drugs was green-lighted for pain management. This is a challenge for patients but an opportunity for cannabis entrepreneurs. If any of the existing or new marijuana-based medications get approved for pain, the potential for growth is huge.


This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

03 September 2021