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Medical Marijuana Market Overview
In the coming years, the medical marijuana market would observe considerable prosperity, due to the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, number of countries allowing the use of the substance for medication purposes, awareness of patients as well as doctors about the benefits of cannabis, and investments for research and development (R&D).
For medical purposes, marijuana is available in the form of oils, buds, and tinctures. Among these, oils are expected to experience the fastest medical marijuana market growth, in the coming years, owing to the concerns regarding the most effective administration route and proper dosage of cannabinoids. Additionally, the shifting preference for oils, over smoking the cannabis leaves, as a result of their medical benefits, would also be responsible for this.
Cannabis has numerous health-related applications, such as arthritis, chronic pain, cancer, and migraine, along with several others. Among these, the largest medical marijuana market size, in the past, was accounted for by the chronic pain application. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that almost 40% of the people in the U.S. suffered from long-lasting pain, in 216. With the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, which cause long-lasting pain, the industry is progressing.
Cannabis can be taken through inhalation, topical route, or ingestion, among which inhalation held the largest medical marijuana market share, historically. This was because pot or weed, to smoke, is easily accessible across the world, and this route of administration results in high bioavailability of the active ingredients in the leaves, in the body. As per estimates, around 50% of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in marijuana enters the bloodstream, via inhalation. This is why this route of administration will continue dominating the industry in the coming years.
North America is currently the most productive region in the global medical marijuana market, as the R&D activities, aimed at studying the likely applications of marijuana in disease therapeutics, are garnering heavy investments. Additionally, several U.S. states and Canadian provinces have legalized therapeutic as well as recreational cannabis use, and several others are planning to do the same. In several of these places, patients can use marijuana after the authorization of their doctor.
Medical Marijuana Market Dynamics
The increasing incidence of chronic diseases is one of the most important drivers for the medical marijuana market progress. Long-term diseases of the heart, nerves, and bones, as well as cancer, cause significant pain, which often becomes unmanageable, even with painkillers. On account of the rising prevalence of such diseases, the demand for weed and weed extracts is rising. For instance, as per the World Health Organization, 10 years after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, almost half of the patients are not able to have a full-time job, on account of the acute pain.
Another among the prominent medical marijuana market drivers is the increasing funding in R&D. For instance, the U.S. federal government provided a funding of $3 million to study the analgesic effects of marijuana, in September 2019, in an effort to reduce opioid addiction and usage. Additionally, several cannabis-based therapeutic products are gaining approvals, which is also helping the industry prosper. For instance, nabiximols, sold under the trade name Sativex, was under clinical trials, for treating muscle control problems in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), as of 2018. It already has regulatory approval in several European nations, apart from Canada and the U.K.
Medical Marijuana Market Competitive Landscape
Mergers and acquisitions are being actively pursued by the major players in the medical marijuana market, to stay ahead of their competitors. For instance, Aurora Cannabis, in August 2019, successfully acquired Hempco Food and Fiber Inc., to gain access to cost-effective hemp, to extract cannabidiol (CBD). Similarly, Aphria acquired CC Pharma, which provides numerous pharmaceutical products, such as cannabis, in Germany and other European countries, in January 2019.
The key medical marijuana market players include Aurora Cannabis Inc., Canopy Growth Corporation, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, Medical Marijuana Inc., CanniMed Ltd., Aphria Inc., Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc., and Tilray Inc.
Market Size Breakdown by Segment
Based on Type
Based on Application
Based on Route of Administration