Sanjay Gupta’s Apology! Sanjay Guptas recent apology about misleading America by not looking hard enough for the benefits of medical marijuana. The shares soared as high as 60% before declining in afternoon trading, most likely due to some profit taking, but still closed up a respectable 39.92% on the day. Volume for the day was over 37.4 million shares traded, far above the 4.7 million daily average traded. Dr. Guptas revelation was completely unexpected and seemed to shock the medical marijuana community. At last count, his article Why I changed my mind on weed on CNN.com had 27,513 comments. The article, which was actually published on Thursday, didnt prompt any initial response. But about one hour into the market open on Friday, the stock started to climb. The Gupta Effect, which is what some have dubbed the doctors effect on the market, may have had a little extra help: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke about sentencing reform in a National Public Radio (NPR) interview, which he expounded upon on Monday when he spoke to the American Bar Association. The Gupta Effect Dr. Guptas endorsement of marijuana having true medicinal value will most likely be one of the defining moments that helps legalization reform and the acceleration of research. His presence on the issue provides a gigantic leap of creditability. Dr. Gupta is an American neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta , Georgia. ( Citation 1 ) He also holds the title of CNN Chief Medical Correspondent and was asked to be Surgeon General of the United States. His affiliation with CNN provides a media platform that is watched and respected around the world. Dr. Gupta had previously denounced the benefits of medical marijuana, so the endorsement didnt come overnight. He cites significant research over the last year as the catalyst for his reversalresearch that he shared during the CNN special documentary, WEED, which aired Sunday night. The documentary was fair and balanced and examined the pros and cons of marijuana use from both medicinal and recreational perspectives. One of the most significant revelations he shared was that the component in marijuana that provides the most medical benefit is the cannabinoid cannabidiol ( CBD ), which is derived mostly from the hemp plants seed and stalk. CBD does not get you high and is legal to consume in the United States. In fact, it can be purchased from the companies of Medical Marijuana, Incs ( MJNA.PK ), PhytoSPHERE Systems and its intellectual property holder, CannaVest Corp ( OTC: CANV ). The companies are conducting research and are improving the quality and standardization of hemp-based CBD products. The Holder Effect Many, including members of congress, have been awaiting a response from Attorney General Eric Holder on how the Department of Justice (DOJ) would respond to the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado. In his NPR interview, Holder offered some bold statements that seem to be precursors to a revolutionary policy shift for the DOJ. Categorizing current policies as disastrous and expressing the need for leadership to roll them back are very foretelling. His policies are expected to be the catalyst for the acceptance of wider reform initiatives that have to be vetted through the executive and legislative branches of government. Investors Accept Obviously the title of this article is symbolic of the market reaction to Dr. Guptas apology and support of medical marijuana. It was chosen because there is a real benefit to the investors of MJNA, which includes the longer-term acceptance of the components of marijuana as legitimate products in the consumer market. Two of the companys products which are available now are CanChew gum and Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO) . These products come in high quality packaging that provides convenient, measured delivery of CBD that will not produce any intoxicating effects for users. This was a significant concern for parents highlighted in Dr. Guptas documentary in treating childhood epilepsy, who wanted their children to get the medical benefits of Cannabidiol without getting high. I wrote a three part series on RSHO that highlights the evolution of this product and its many benefits which are linked below:

About the Author: Matt Brooks

Matt is a journalist from San Francisco who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than six years.

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