By Raquel Sánchez
The regulation of the costs of medical cannabis will not only be viable with a high production of that plant, but with the commitment of new companies that implement technologies and research for their medicinal use, indicated to Acan-Efe experts in the topic of marijuana.
In some countries of America, where its use in medicines to treat certain diseases is regulated, price is a factor that limits its scope, which causes its acquisition in other unfavorable ways, such as the black market.
Nowadays, products are manufactured for different areas and research is promoted, but because it is an emerging market the appearance of new companies seems to start.
The Colombian doctor cannabis specialist Sandra Carrillo told to Acan-Efe that medical marijuana is a therapeutic alternative because of the benefits it has, but those approved by health entities are excessively expensive for patients.
She made reference to one that was approved last year by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat American patients suffering from rare forms of epilepsy.
"The Epidiólex, also known as cannabidiol, has a cost of 32,000 per year, something unaffordable, so many companies are now engaged in extractions to try to lower costs and make medicines cheaper for people", she said.
The specialist commented that techniques and processes play a role too, and that standardization must be part of making a quality medicine.
"The plant is very complex for its components, the future of this product is to have standardized methods, while being prescribed in a personalized way for its effectiveness" she said.
"Cannabis is a drug with a high safety range, and no deaths have been shown due to its use, according to studies, and it is necessary to cultivate the doctor-patient relationship to create an accompaniment for those who have never consumed assess the effects that are palliative to a condition", she said.
Regarding the illegality of its production, she warns that products based on cannabis oil are sold on the black market, and that its use could cause damage because they do not comply with sanitary regulations.
The consumption of cannabis-based medicines is regulated in several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.
According to the CannaTech organization, the international cannabis market has an estimated economic impact of 20,000 million dollars, a figure that could amount to 100,000 million in 2020 and is a sector that is professionalized and extends rapidly.
Javier Goyco -representative of the American company Lab Society, dedicated to cannabis oil extraction, processing and refining technology- told to Acan-Efe that the market for similar companies is being opened based on each country that regulates its standards.
And it is alleged that in Latin America research is strengthened based on the needs that are determined with the plant and the varieties they have, one of them is Colombia, who hurries its march to extract cannabidiol, an active principle of the plant of cannabis.
"We are at a point where there is an explosion of this market so emerging and fast, however, companies that want to enter to promote their innovations, should review the laws of each country to compete", she added.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Marcecq, a producer dedicated to hydroponic crops, mentioned that the future of marijuana cultivation in the region should have adequate legal frameworks accompanied by a marketing and education strategy, and thus eradicate the stigma attached to the cultivation and use of the plant.
"The plant has important properties for medicine, and if more research is done it will be able to guide its use, far beyond the recreational one", said the Panamanian producer.
He regretted that cannabis still maintains a bad perception despite the fact that every day more studies are presented.
The experts participated in an international summit for the Acceleration of Cannabis Therapeutic Innovation "CannaTech", which was held in Panama City.