The founder of Citiva Medical, an ongoing medical marijuana research organization and provider of cannabinoid medicine, Josh Stanley continues to be one of the driving forces pushing for advances in the medical marijuana business. Stanley is co-credited with creating “Charlotte’s Web”, and with breeding a non-psychoactive strain of the cannabis plant with low THC and high CBD.
In 2010, he assisted in the drafting of Colorado House Bill 1284, the first bill of its kind to further define and establish Colorado’s medicinal cannabis state regulatory structure through the Colorado Department of Revenue. The following year he co-authored the research and development portion of Colorado House Bill 1043.
Stanley also sat on the rules and regulations board of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, as well as that organization’s rules and regulations board for research and development.
More recently, Stanley decided to pursue new ventures in the global cannabis industry and, in 2014, founded Strains of Hope, a non-profit dedicated to assisting global principalities in the implementation of responsible regulations for local medicinal cannabis industries and funding of further research. Needless to say, we were extremely lucky to catch up with him recently and get his current take on things…
DOPE: How do you expect the acceptance and growth of the industry to play out in terms of therapeutic cannabis and cannabis in general being treated as another agriculture commodity?
Josh Stanley: What I do and what my company does is work with governments around the world. I am focusing on developing nations, because at the heart of these developing nations is agriculture. What they are lacking right now are new agricultural commodities. The demand for cannabinoid replacement therapy, or CRT, is going to help move cannabis into large scale, good agricultural practice using organic farming techniques, and make no mistake about it – that is the future.
DOPE: You have stated in presentations that what people are calling medical marijuana is not really medical marijuana. Can you explain that?
Stanley: It’s an incorrect term. It’s really therapeutic cannabis. In order to call something medical, it has to be able to be standardized, and if you can’t measure something, how are you going to study it? If you can’t standardize it, how in the hell are you going to brand it?
DOPE: I have seen some pharmaceutical company representation at cannabis trade shows, but nothing to indicate that those companies are doing anything now but sitting on the sidelines. What’s your take on that?
Stanley: Big Pharma is the largest lobby in the world. They are bigger than oil. So you’re damn right that they are involved in the cannabis business. What they are looking at is how to standardize this and take this into the medicinal realm. The days of single compound isolate synthetic medications that they make are coming to an end. Pharmaceutical companies are scared of multi-compound drugs like cannabis because it’s very difficult to patent them; it’s very difficult to own them, but these are brands that people in the cannabis industry can begin to own and begin to bring to market.
DOPE: Why do pharmaceutical companies develop single compound isolate synthetics?
Stanley: They create one drug so that they can create two drugs to counteract the side effect of that one drug. It becomes a profit-care industry and not a health-care industry. Those times are changing, and they are changing due to a certain level of civil disobedience on the part of the citizens of the world because they are saying, “Wait a second, this therapeutic cannabis works for me, this works for my child. Why can’t I use it?”
DOPE: What do you see as the potential future of cannabis for medical use over the next two to three years?
Stanley: I am following clinical study protocols and we are going to release some clinical studies that are going to blow the world away. So once this information is out there, there is going to be a race about how fast we can grow and produce this plant. Then in five years you are going to see CRT in just about everyone’s medicine cabinet as a preventative medicine. It’s going to really be something.
DOPE: When do you think these treatments using cannabis might become more widely accepted, possibly becoming mainstream medicine?
Stanley: We in this country have a huge responsibility to the general public to do no harm. Not only to do no harm but to do what is right. We as a country haven’t done that for decades and decades upon decades. Now we have the opportunity to do what’s right, and so the very fact that our government and these agencies like the DEA have fought the efficacy in this and brought out – well, let’s call it what it is: lies – they have created their own problem. You wouldn’t have this medical cannabis issue now involved in so many political elections, but they created this monster. Now they are asking it to go away.