Monday 8 February 2021 2:00 pm

The new Greenback: Why investors are getting high on medicinal cannabis firms

Avihu Tamir is CEO of Kanabo

For years, advocates of medicinal cannabis products have predicted that the industry is set to revolutionise healthcare – and make investors a tidy profit. That time may finally be coming.

Take our firm, Kanabo Group, which became the first medicinal cannabis company to get approval from the Financial Conduct Authority last month to list on the London Stock Exchange, on 16 February, subject to shareholder approval.

Read more: David Beckham-backed cannabis firm on course to become LSE’s first CBD listing

It has conditionally raised £6,000,000 in an oversubscribed placing and getting FCA approval was the culmination of several years of hard work.

The go-ahead is not just a huge milestone for Kanabo, but also for the UK market as well. For several years, America and Canada have been leading the charge when it comes to medicinal cannabis, creating thousands of jobs and billions in taxable revenue.

The FCA published guidelines in September last year allowing cannabis companies to list on the LSE, as long as they are medicinal or pure CBD companies, with no recreational business allowed. So now it is time for the UK and Europe to start catching up and this month has seen the start of that, with a slew of cannabis companies beginning to seek admission to the LSE.

Kanabo has developed the VapePod, the only medical device cannabis vaporiser, which gives the medical community a real alternative when prescribing cannabis to help with stress, aches and pains and PTSD. GPs want to know that every prescription will give patients the same dose every time and the VapePod provides this in metred dosages.

Each inhalation provides exactly 1mg of cannabinoid extract which is hugely different to smoking prescribed cannabis flower, that as an agricultural product is hard to reproduce consistently and also delivers unwanted carcinogens, soot and tar to the lungs. The extract formulas Kanabo develops are pure with no additives or diluents.

This is a game-changer and the publicity gained has been a boon to the industry in general.

In recent days we have seen an Australian company seek to dual list on the LSE and David Beckham get involved in the cannabis skincare industry via his investment vehicle DB Ventures. There will be more to follow.

The European medical cannabis industry will be worth an estimated €2.3bn by 2025 and the European CBD market an estimated €13.6bn by 2025.

Last week, UK based pharmaceutical firm, GW Pharma – which specialises in a cannabis-derived treatment for epilepsy, has agreed to be bought in a £5.3bn takeover. It’s a huge validation for the industry.

The wellbeing sector has seen a flood of products launched onto the market but consumers have a hard time understanding which products or brands are right for them. Tinctures, oils, gummies, topicals and the like offer plenty to choose from. CBD products for pets have also begun making an appearance.

On the medical side, clinics have begun popping-up and some even offer video consultation giving access to patients during the lockdown. They’ve seen a surge of inquiries which is easy to understand considering the mental health crisis that has arisen from the pandemic.

The market should create thousands of jobs in the UK and create much needed taxable revenue for the Government, but, like all emerging markets, especially this one, there has to be rigorous checks and balances in place to make sure that the public, and the medical community, get all the right information. Supply chains and production should be closely regulated but also within reason, to ensure that this sector picks up.

Judging by the reaction from investors and the interest from other companies wanting to list in London, this is the start of a huge new industry in this country and Europe.

Read more: The City View with Bill Browder

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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