My Marijuana Manifesto

Most people wouldn't know this, but I am an epileptic. Now there are different 'levels' of epilepsy and – thank goodness – I only have mild epilepsy. This means that although I am on a small dose of pharmaceutical drugs (and have been for the past 14 years), leading up to 2016, I had been seizure free for 10 years. I went on a rare night out, and after a few too many drinks, ended up having a grand mal seizure at home.

I must admit that I was very depressed. Anyone who has seen an epileptic seizure knows how horrible and stressful it can be. Given that it had been more than 10 years, we went to see a Neurologist in Sydney. After chatting a while he explained just how bad alcohol is for people with epilepsy and that his recommendation be that I not drink alcohol again. He must have seen the look on my face – that look one gets when the fun police pull you over to the side of the road!

He smiled and said, "well there is always marijuana – and went on to explain how the drug was been researched for medicinal purposes in the treatment/prevention of epilepsy. Obviously though – still very much a black market, highly illegal drug – hence the reason for his wry smile.

Homeward bound

A couple of months later I went to Cape Town, South Africa, for my brother's wedding. It was there I saw one of his friends whom I hadn't seen for nearly 4 years – one of his best mates – who lived in Toronto. He immediately tried to get me to have 2 beers and a shot of Tequila (God I love Canadians) and I had to quickly and quietly let him know why I was going to smash two bottles of water and a wheat-grass shot instead.

As I finished the story with the doc's words of "well, there's always weed" he didn't burst out laughing and mimic smoking a joint (like most people did – and still do). In fact – quite the opposite – he started talking, passionately. And he did not stop talking for nearly 2 weeks.

For 2 full weeks, all he spoke of was medicinal marijuana and what was going on around the world – most importantly – in his home country. And the more he spoke and the more stats he spewed, the more it dawned on me – this was no joke. This was not a wise crack from a doctor. This was a global industry – and one of the most important of my (read our) time.  This is medicinal marijuana and it is going to change medicine moving forward – no doubt.

And it began…

And so I started to read, I started to watch, and I started to listen. And the more I read, watched and listened to, the more I realised just how big this was.  And not just big – important. Life changing. I watched videos of people shaking uncontrollably with Parkinson's disease, only to ingest medicinal marijuana and (after a while) have no shakes and be able to sit back and have a relaxing conversation. That's not just medicine, that's a miracle.

This is helping kids that have the worst forms of epilepsy get through a day (just 1 day) without having up to 300 seizures. 300 – that's up to 20 seizures every hour. These kids are getting a chance to live – not just in a room to prevent injury through seizures – but rather a life to live. And medically and scientifically – we haven't even scratched the surface on this .

I have a passion for this industry. And why shouldn't I. Here is a natural, god given, plant that can prevent pain, help with currently incurable diseases, create jobs and additional taxation streams that will lead to better infrastructure for healthier people to live in.

Medical science is starting to prove that a multitude of wellness indications, applications, and potentially groundbreaking medical breakthroughs are now not only plausible—but probable. And Big Pharma is starting to wake up, and so they should. This is the disruption of the healthcare industry – and it's happening in our time!

The tipping point has been reached.  The medicinal benefits cannot be overlooked anymore.  This is having a significant impact on diseases such as MS, Epilepsy, Parkinson's and is now the hottest topic in the area of pain prevention – a $650 billion dollar market.

The industry is seeing unprecedented growth due to decriminalisation for medicinal purposes on a global scale.  Already, it has been legalised for medicinal use in various states in the USA as well as other global countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany and more. And here's the best part. We are only at the beginning of the growth cycle. The industry as a whole is expected to grow at compound rates of 35% year on year.

I founded The Green Fund with awareness and information in mind. There are currently over 600 publicly traded medicinal marijuana companies and that's where The Green Fund comes in. We are here to inform our members how to identify the right stocks to add to their investment portfolio at the right time and for the right price on both local and international exchanges.

We cover the news, the companies and the players that dominate this sector and are driving the next generation of medicinal benefits to patients around the world.

And they told you money doesn't grow on trees.

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Mark Bernberg
Mark Bernberg

Mark Bernberg is a long-time cannabis investing enthusiast and founder of The Green Fund, Asia Pacific's preeminent media house, positioned at the forefront of the global cannabis industry.