A leading British cannabis company has raised £7.8m in a Series A funding round as it prepares to launch an “aggressive strategy” to dominate the budding industry across Europe.
Cannaray, which manufactures medical cannabis and consumer cannabidiol (CBD) products, also announced that it had bought Therismos – a company with licences to import, handle and distribute controlled drugs in the UK and across the EU.
The company has also partnered with Newey, the largest horticulture firm in the UK and an investor in Cannaray, to develop growing facilities and a pharmaceutical research base to “explore new cannabis-based medical formulations”. It is also applying for a cannabis cultivation licence – only two of which have ever been granted before.
The global medical cannabis market is set to be worth over £60bn by 2026, while the CBD consumer sector is predicted to hit £20bn by 2024.
Medical cannabis has been a hotly-debated topic in the UK recently, with the head of the world’s largest medical cannabis company, Aurora Cannabis, urging the government to allow GPs to prescribe the drug in June.
It has been legal for the NHS to prescribe cannabis since November last year, but campaigners have argued that under current rules the drug is almost impossible to access.
Cannaray said it is planning to raise additional capital to fund the production of medical cannabis and expand into markets beyond the UK – beginning with Germany and Poland later this year. It is also planning to launch a “premium CBD lifestyle brand”.
Commenting on the raise, Cannaray chief executive officer Scott Maguire said the firm wants to become “not only the leading European cannabis player but eventually one of the global leaders in research and development of improved cannabis therapies”.
“Cannaray’s brand mission is to become a socially conscious cannabis company while simultaneously working to professionalise the industry with products that offer tangible benefits,” he added.