In the biggest cannabis-related acquisition yet, Jazz Pharmaceuticals said it would buy GW Pharmaceuticals in a $7.2B cash and stock deal, the strongest indication yet of big drugmakers’ long-speculated interest in cannabis.

  • In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GW’s Epidiolex, a CBD-based pharmaceutical, as a treatment for severe pediatric epilepsy disorders. It was the first time the agency greenlit a cannabis-derived drug.
  • U.K.-based GW has also developed a medicine containing CBD and THC which has won approval in several countries as a treatment for multiple sclerosis-related spasticity. It’s currently in late-stage trials under the brand name Sativex, with an eye on U.S. approval. 

Cannabis executives have long been wary, not to say paranoid, of Big Pharma. But observers I spoke to don’t think it threatens the REC industry.

Here’s what the deal does mean.

  • As pharma and the cannabiz circle each other, MJBiz asks what’s next.
  • Also, a new bipartisan bill would regulate CBD as a dietary supplement, likely accelerating its uptake by mainstream retailers and consumer packaged goods companies.
    Nutritional Outlook