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Reliance on prescriptions declines as Cannabis legalization grows

A recent study by PLoS ONE showed that states with legal cannabis for medicinal and recreational use had people encountering a decreasing reliance on prescription or over-the-counter medications, according to Healthline.

The study analyzed stock market returns for 500 pharmaceutical companies from 1996 through 2019 and was published August 31, 2022.

In states where cannabis was legalized, pharmaceutical companies saw a 1.5% to 2% drop in returns about 10 days after cannabis was legalized. This percent equals roughly $133 million to $177 million in stock market value for each company.

Conclusions of the study reported that legalizing cannabis at the federal level for all states would cost the pharmaceutical industry billions of dollars. In fact, their predictions share that if cannabis were to be legalized for medical use in the remaining illegal use states, then pharmaceutical sales would drop by 10.8% or approximately $38.4 billion. These figures include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The reasoning behind this drop is because experts feel once legal people will use cannabis to treat a variety of medical issues, such as, insomnia and chronic pain.

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