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A medical marijuana facility in Massachusetts. Photo: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Once-off-limits drugs are gaining a bigger foothold in the health care market as scientists reassess how they work and what they're capable of.

What to watch: Cannabis is the leader on this front — marijuana is a booming business, and the FDA approved a drug last year derived from cannabis — but psychedelics are also getting a closer look from pharmaceutical companies.

Details: CNBC reports that Walgreen's will sell cannabis-oil products, including creams, patches and sprays, in some 1,600 stores across 6 states. CVS embraced CBD drugs earlier this month.

For psychedelics, the FDA's approval of a "ketamine-like" drug to treat severe depression has already provided one popularity boost, CNBC's Christina Farr writes.

  • On the heels of that decision, ATAI, a German company specializing in "formerly stigmatized compounds," raised $40 million, for a valuation of $240 million.
  • "Biotech investors believe that psychedelic medicine will experience a revival in the wake of recent research studies as well as some early signals of support from regulators," Farr reports.

Between the lines: CBD and psychedelic medicine are very different. Cannabis oil doesn't produce a high like smoking marijuana does. Psychedelic drugs do still have profound effects on the brain, which is why they're so tightly regulated and scarcely used.

  • If there's a constant here, though, it's a willingness to look at, as ATAI puts it, "formerly stigmatized medicines."
  • The opioid epidemic has opened up new approaches to pain therapy; treatment-resistant depression demanded something; the criminal justice system is reevaluating drugs, too; and regulators are willing to give these products a shot.

Go deeper: Ahead of 2020, Kamala Harris supports marijuana legalization

Go deeper

Salesforce rolls the dice on Slack

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Salesforce's likely acquisition of workplace messaging service Slack — not yet a done deal but widely anticipated to be announced Tuesday afternoon — represents a big gamble for everyone involved.

For Slack, challenged by competition from Microsoft, the bet is that a deeper-pocketed owner like Salesforce, with wide experience selling into large companies, will help the bottom line.

FBI stats show border cities are among the safest

Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Note: This table includes the eight largest communities on the U.S.-Mexico border and eight other U.S. cities similar in population size and demographics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the safest in America, with some border cities holding crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show.

Why it matters: The latest crime data collected by the FBI from 2019 contradicts the narrative by President Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a "lawless" region suffering from violence and mayhem.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
2 hours ago - Science

The rise of military space powers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nations around the world are shoring up their defensive and offensive capabilities in space — for today's wars and tomorrow's.

Why it matters: Using space as a warfighting domain opens up new avenues for technologically advanced nations to dominate their enemies. But it can also make those countries more vulnerable to attack in novel ways.