Last Week in Weed Issue 3

In this issue of Last Week in Weed, we look at Canopy suing GW Pharma, a new Cannabis and PTSD study, and how much the US spent on weed in 2020.

Last Week in Weed (Issue 3)

Last Week in Weed: A weekly blog from The Simpa Life

In this third issue of Last Week in Weed, we look at Canopy Growth’s extraction copyright lawsuit against GW Pharmaceuticals, A new cannabis and PTSD study, and just how much weed the US went through in 2020.

Canopy Growth files copyright lawsuit against GW Pharmaceuticals

Canopy Growth files copyright lawsuit against GW Pharmaceuticals

By far the biggest news of the week is that Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth has filed a lawsuit against GW Pharmaceuticals. The suit claims that GW’s C02 extraction method infringes on their patent for c02 extraction. 

C02 extraction is one of the most effective methods for extracting cannabinoids – because of this many companies use the technology in the production of their cannabis products. If successful Canopy could go on to file against many if not all companies using C02 extraction.

Canopy Growth, the company that boasts DNA Genetics, Houseplant – the company founded by Seth Rogen, and Martha Stewart’s new CBD range is one of the largest players in the North American cannabis industry. 

The lawsuit alleges that GW Pharmaceuticals’ use of C02 extraction in the production of its CBD-rich Cannabis-based Medicinal Product (CBMP) Epidolex as described on their website infringes on Canopy’s newly acquired extraction patent

A spokesperson for GW Pharmaceuticals said “the company was aware of the suit but would not comment on pending litigation”

The 20-year-old patent was acquired by Canopy earlier this month for just $1 from German-based Spectrum Therapeutics. The Company then immediately filed with the US patent office. The same day the patent was successfully granted the company filed a patent lawsuit in federal court in Waco, Texas. 

The timing of the filing suggests that this is all part of a much larger strategy to control more of the cannabis market by licensing the rights to C02 extraction of cannabinoids around the world. This puts Canopy in a great position as GW would have to outright win the case to prevent them from filing similar suits against other manufacturers using similar technology. 

As news of the lawsuit broke shares in GW fell and Canopy Growth rose as investors tried to understand the potential scale and impact of disruption this case could have on the industry.

A new study confirms the efficacy of cannabis to treat PTSD

A new study confirms the efficacy of cannabis to treat PTSD

This week saw the release of another study investigating the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There have already been a plethora of positive studies looking at the effects of cannabis on the mental health disorder. This latest study suggests that not only can cannabis help reduce symptoms but that it can also increase the likelihood of recovery. 

PTSD is a mental health disorder that can affect anyone who has suffered trauma. Any kind of trauma can cause PTSD – such as sexual assault, child abuse, warfare, violence assault, or serious accidents – basically, any threat to life can leave someone suffering with PTSD symptoms. 

Although most individuals won’t develop PTSD as a consequence of experiencing traumatic events those that do can be left with debilitating symptoms that last many years after the initial traumatising event. 

This research concludes that cannabis can be both effective in relieving symptoms and aid in long term recovery from the disorder. The group that received cannabis over the year-long study had a higher recovery rate than those who didn’t consume cannabis at all. 

In the group that consumed cannabis, there was an improvement of recovery by 2.57 times over the control group which didn’t consume cannabis. There was also a dramatic decrease in the symptoms reported by the cannabis consuming group. 

As someone that suffers from C-PTSD, I welcome further evidence of the efficacy of cannabis to treat PTSD as the traditional methods of treatment are too often ineffective and can actually slow recovery instead of aiding it. 

The study was conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and executed by researchers at The University of Colorado, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of California San Diego, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

How Much weed did the US consume in 2020?

How much weed did the United States consume in 2020?

We all know the US likes their cannabis, but just how much weed does “the land of the free” go through? A recent article claims that the United States consumed nearly $18 billion worth of cannabis in 2020. 

There is now 37 US state that has access to “medical cannabis” and 15 states plus Washington DC that have “legalised” adult consumption making America one of the largest cannabis marketplaces on earth so far.

Recently released state tax and revenue data correlated by Leafly reveal just how much cannabis our North Atlantic neighbours have been consuming in 2020. The US spent $17.9 billion on Cannabis in 2020 a dramatic increase from 2019s total of $10.7 billion.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic various US state governors declared that cannabis was an essential business and could remain open during lockdown. The dispensaries responded by rapidly setting up online ordering systems, kerbside pick-ups, and home delivery to meet consumers’ needs.

In response to these new easier shopping options and the ever-growing uncertainty of the times sales grew greatly in April and remained high throughout the rest of the year. So with more states set to vote on cannabis legislation in 2021 it’s a pretty safe bet that next year’s revenue will far exceed that of this year.

Written by Simpa for


Simpa Carter
Simpa Carter

Simpa is a passionate drug law reform activist, mental health advocate, blogger, freelance writer, and host of The Simpa Life podcast.

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