A quarter-century after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drugs based on the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, additional medicines derived from or inspired by the cannabis plant itself could soon be making their way to pharmacy shelves, according to drug companies, small biotech firms and university scientists.
Last week, a new bill was introduced by lawmakers that would remove the federal ban on marijuana and let states produce, regulate and tax it. Though it's unclear how much traction the bill will achieve, it shifts the debate from a moral to an economic one and raises a number of questions about consumer safety.
WeGrow, a just-opened marijuana superstore in Phoenix, boasts 21,000 square feet of cannabis gardening tools and a "plant whisperer" who makes house calls. It dubs itself the "Walmart of Weed," and hopes its big-box mentality will lure the country's budding legions of medical-marijuana users.
Many are watching to see if voters say yes to Proposition 19, the controversial ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in California. Advocates say it would be a moneymaker. Opponents see nothing but trouble ahead if Prop 19 passes.
The FTC has cleared a BHP Billiton bid for Potash Corp., but that hardly matters. Authorities in the fertilizer company's home country of Canada may not approve the transaction. And it looks like BHP won't be the only bidder. The giant Chinese conglomerate Sinochem is working on an offer.
After rejecting a $38 billion offer from BHP Billiton, Potash Corp. is now very much in play. Investors have good reason to think that the stock price could be headed much higher in the coming weeks.
BHP Billiton isn't going down without a fight. A day after fertilizer giant Potash rejected its takeover offer, the giant mining company has taken its $40 billion bid directly to Potash shareholders.
Marijuana legalization proponents can see a day when the marijuana market looks like the alcohol industry. There would a range of quality among the products offered. And there would be taxes assessed -- perhaps even heavy taxes.
New Jersey was the fourteenth state to legalize medical marijuana, but current governor Chris Christie is placing such harsh restrictions on the prospective business that some question whether it will ever get off the ground.
When the state of California announced that a marijuana legalization measure would be on the state's November ballot, the ensuing discussion covered a range of topics from medicine to morality. But few pundits brought up the biggest factor of them all: money. With a potential market of millions of pot smokers, decriminalization of marijuana could open the door to a vast, largely-untapped market for smoking paraphernalia, accessories and other lifestyle accoutrements.