It Starts With a Name and a Face

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One of the pivotal moments in the modern history of cannabis was the debut of Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” on CNN in 2013. The documentary, which followed a year of interviews with medical leaders, experts, growers and patients, changed the game because it presented medical cannabis to the American public as something that could help people with severe health conditions. He shared with us the stories of regular people that could easily be our family members or friends who had found relief and improved the quality of their lives.

Gupta, who just four years earlier had written an article in TIME magazine titled “Why I would Vote No on Pot,” issued an apology, saying he had failed to do the proper research and said that the government had “terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years.”

“Weed” detailed the case of Charlotte Figi, who had been suffering seizures since soon after birth. Only medical cannabis was able to limit the seizures, something that we now understand better after the FDA approval of GW Pharma’s Epidiolex to treat uncontrolled seizures caused by rare pediatric epilepsy, like Charlotte’s Dravet syndrome, in 2018.

This week, tragically, Charlotte, the namesake for Charlotte’s Web, the Colorado-based company formed by the Stanley brothers who were also profiled in “Weed”, passed away due to complications related to COVID-19, ironically the same week that the FDA ruled that Epidiolex is no longer a controlled substance.

May we always remember the bravery of Charlotte and her family and be inspired to advocate for patients and to push for access to cannabis as medicine. First and foremost, we must, as a society, push for cannabis research. While anecdotal evidence of safety and efficacy abounds, we must remove the barriers to cannabis research that currently exist so that we can move beyond unproven claims and bring more legitimacy to our industry.

The DEA has stalled for years in expanding the number of providers of cannabis for medical research, though it finally announced rules to end the monopoly. The House of Representatives failed to advance the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019 introduced by Republican Matt Gaetz, though it was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Last month, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs passed two bills, the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act and the Veterans Equal Access Act, unanimously. While we are making incremental progress, the process is playing out too slowly. Both sides of the aisle seem to be in agreement, so it is frustrating to see roadblocks continuing to impede medical cannabis research.

Charlotte Figi, rest in peace. You ignited a fire that won’t burn out. We as patients, care-givers, operators, researchers and voters will work to preserve your legacy.

From the beginning, Charlotte’s Web was created to pursue a singular purpose of helping people like Charlotte Figi, whose well-being had significantly improved after the use of the Stanley brothers’ customized extract. Since then, the Stanley brothers continue to advance CBD therapies through Charlotte’s Web, which has become the most trusted CBD brand in the world. The company has brought in executives capable of running a global consumer packaged goods organization, and it has doubled down on its efforts to advance cannabis science.

Get up to speed by visiting the Charlotte’s Web Investor Dashboard that we maintain on their behalf as a client of New Cannabis Ventures. Click the blue Follow Company button in order to stay up to date with their progress.

New Cannabis Ventures publishes curated articles as well as exclusive news. Here is some of the most interesting business content from this week:

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Alan & Joel

Exclusive article by Alan Brochstein, CFA
Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

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