Pharmacies vs. Dispensaries: The Future of Cannabinoids as Medicine Report Launches

BOULDER, Colo. — February 26, 2019 — A new report from Arcview Market Research (“Arcview Group”) and BDS Analytics details the many ways in which the cannabis industry could potentially disrupt the pharmaceutical industry. Entitled “Pharmacies vs. Dispensaries: The Future of Cannabinoids as Medicine,” the report explains that the pharmaceutical industry stands to be changed by the popularization of cannabis in two ways: the emergence of cannabis-derived pharmaceutical drugs, and the possible competition between pharmacies and dispensaries as customers begin to trust cannabis to alleviate health issues.

“A slow pace of change is typical of the pharmaceutical industry, but medical cannabis could change that,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of the Arcview Group. “It was the medical cannabis industry that initially provided CBD-based relief to children with epileptic seizures, and is currently helping thousands of patients who are suffering from a vast array of other conditions. Now, the pharmaceutical industry is slowly emerging from 80 years of prohibition-induced neglect to invest real money into developing the potential of cannabis-plant medicines.”

The report indicates that cannabinoid pharmaceutical sales are unlikely to take off in the near term, as only five cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals are in third-stage trials, and therefore have a chance of getting through the FDA approval process and onto the market before 2022. Hence sales of all cannabis-based pharmaceuticals are forecast to amount to less than 20% of the $31.6-billion legal cannabis market by 2022.

“Epidiolex and the pipeline of pharmaceuticals behind it set up a whole new competitive dynamic,” said Tom Adams, editor in chief of Arcview Market Research and managing director of BDS Analytics Industry Intelligence, which collaborated on the report. “For the first time, cannabis dispensaries will face pharmaceutical competition with its FDA imprimatur and the potential advantage of insurance subsidization. But at the same time, the pharmaceutical industry is not used to competing with stores selling effectively the same product it offers at a much lower price.”

Other key factors analyzed in the Pharmacies vs. Dispensaries: The Future of Cannabinoids as Medicine include:

  • 41% of respondents to BDS Analytics’ consumer surveys report a reduction in use of OTC medications when using medical cannabis, while 39% report a reduction in use of prescription medications.
  • Relaxation and pain relief are some of the top reasons for consumers turning to cannabis. Both anxiety and pain prescriptions are in the top 20 prescribed drugs, meaning the battle has already been joined between pharmacies and dispensaries.
  • The growth in revenue from cannabinoid pharmaceuticals will accelerate in the second half of the decade ahead as more drugs are approved and fully commercialized.
  • Approximately 770 clinical trials around cannabis, which include the use of cannabinoids for treatment of dozens of disorders and diseases, were registered with the US federal government as “in process” as of January 2019.
  • According to statistics tracked through the government’s Medicaid programs, in states with legal medical marijuana programs, opioid drug use is reported to have decreased up to 30%.

The 57-page report is available for $297 or as part of the Cannabis Intelligence Briefing Series subscription service from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics for $1,975. Shop the report here. View the infographic here.


About Arcview Market Research:

Since 2011, Arcview Market Research has published over 20 reports analyzing and forecasting the rapidly evolving cannabis space. Arcview’s flagship annual report, The State of Legal Marijuana Markets has become the industry standard for market analysis and data in the sector. In 2017, Arcview Market Research partnered with BDS Analytics to add more robust point-of-sale data and consumer insights to its offerings.  Arcview Market Research is a project of The Arcview Group.  Founded in 2010, The Arcview Group is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry. The Arcview Investor Network includes more than 600 accredited investors who have put more than $235 million behind 200 companies. In 2015 Arcview became a partner in Canopy, the first seed-stage mentor-driven business accelerator.  Arcview is also co-founder of Cannasure Insurance Services, the leading provider of business insurance to the cannabis industry.  Forbes Magazine recently named Arcview among the top 5 financial firms in the cannabis sector.



About BDS Analytics:

Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., BDS Analytics provides businesses with smart, actionable, and accurate cannabis market intelligence and consumer research. The company provides a holistic understanding of the cannabis market through insights distilled from dispensary point-of-sale systems through its market-leading GreenEdge™ platform, producing comprehensive consumer research, and generating cannabis industry financial projections and analyses led by BDS Analytics’ industry-leading team of thought leaders and analysts. To learn more about how you can utilize BDS Analytics’ superior market research, please visit  



Media Contact:
Carrie Booze
North 6th Agency (for BDS Analytics)
212-334-9753 ext.142

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