Last week we brought you the story about a company in Arizona called Insys Therapeutics Inc., who donated $500,000 to the group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, who are currently fighting Proposition 205 which would legalize cannabis use for anyone 21 or older. In one single donation they became the biggest backer of the opposition’s campaign – and though we know their intentions were always driven by greed, we are only now realizing to what extent that is true.
The company manufactures a fentanyl spray that is used as a painkiller – and as we know fentanyl is an extremely addicting substance that is at least 40-50 times more potent than pure heroin and 80-100 times more potent than morphine. Unfortunately, the product is FDA approved, therefore it will remain commercially available – at least for the time being. Their product could be replaced with medical marijuana – and it was suspected that this was the main reason for their large donation to Prop 205’s opposition; however, a new product that they hope to release, a dronabinol spray, could be doomed if legalization passes.
Insys got the approval for their new product back in July – dronabinol is a synthetic version of THC used to help patients with wasting syndrome as well as nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Insys realizes that with legal marijuana, most people would gravitate towards the natural cannabinoid found in the plant, rather than a (likely) far more expensive commercial pharmaceutical product.
“Legalization of marijuana or non-synthetic cannabinoids in the United States could significantly limit the commercial success of any dronabinol product candidate … Literature has been published arguing the benefits of marijuana over dronabinol. Moreover, irrespective of its potential medical applications, there is some support in the United States for legalization of marijuana.
If marijuana or non-synthetic cannabinoids were legalized in the United States, the market for dronabinol product sales would likely be significantly reduced and our ability to generate revenue and our business prospects would be materially adversely affected.”
With their main cash grab already in danger due to the on-going findings of fentanyl laced heroin causing overdoses and their second product being an expensive, synthetic version of the main compound in cannabis, it is clear why the company is getting worried. However, rather than reaching in a new direction, they are trying to keep their currently more potent and dangerous, man-made alternatives on the market while keeping the naturally occurring substance that inspired and gave way to the development of those products illegal.
It’s not like we’ve never seen something like this before – but hopefully Arizonans make the right decision here and pass Prop 205 in hopes that the cannabis industry might eventually run corporations like Insys out of business.