Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Healthcare Investors: Here's What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana

By Olivia Zitkus - Apr 11, 2021 at 6:15AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Although research on the medical benefits of the drug is limited in the U.S., we have some ideas about marijuana's ability to disrupt the healthcare industry.

When GW Pharmaceuticals' (GWPH) cannabidiol-based drug, Epidiolex, came onto the pharmaceutical scene, cannabis investors rejoiced. Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ 1.65%) recently announced plans to acquire GW Pharma, and to bring its seizure treatment into a larger portfolio of drugs. Epidiolex is just one example of how marijuana can be used to treat serious conditions. Clearly, the healthcare industry and its investors are waking up to the possibilities of cannabis as a medical solution.

But what can cannabis companies offer investors that players in the existing healthcare industry can't? Dr. Chanda Macias is a medical cannabis advocate, researcher, and dispensary owner. She joined Olivia Zitkus and Corinne Cardina on a March 19 episode of Fool Live to the benefits that cannabis companies could bring to patients -- and to healthcare investors' portfolios.

Corinne Cardina: Why should investors who are already interested in the healthcare space, traditional pharmaceuticals, innovative biotech companies, medical devices, healthcare technology; If you're invested in that space, why might you want to consider investing in the cannabis sector, particularly in the medical marijuana space?

Dr. Chanda Macias: Corinne, this is such a good question. I think sometimes when we're caught up in our day-to-day lives, we don't see the bigger picture. For myself, I've seen how we have focused in the cannabis space on medicines that are for different elements and conditions. For me, that is the healthcare narrative I started from the inception. Also we think about metered-dose inhalers and we think about affordable healthcare. If you take those three ideas that I've put in your mind and you put it in the broader sense of what healthcare can look like today. The first healthcare provider that decides to insure medical cannabis is going to be explosive. When I say explosive, I mean a mass exodus from their traditional providers to go to this one company or multiple companies that will subsidize their medicine, and it will actually trend in the most positive way. A lot of people don't know how many patients are really using medical cannabis. I will say this, if you look at polling from state-to-state with over 75% of support for cannabis usage, whether medical or recreational, you'll start to get an idea of how many people are really interested in using cannabis as the healthcare solution.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc Stock Quote
Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc
$158.58 (1.65%) $2.57
GW Pharmaceuticals plc Stock Quote
GW Pharmaceuticals plc

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.