Proactiveinvestors Australia Sativa Group PLC https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au Proactiveinvestors Australia Sativa Group PLC RSS feed en Wed, 17 Jul 2019 20:57:45 +1000 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Sativa in talks with beverage firms to create CBD drinks in the UK ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/223445/sativa-in-talks-with-beverage-firms-to-create-cbd-drinks-in-the-uk-223445.html Cannabis firm Sativa Group PLC (NEX:SATI) is in talks with beverage companies to make cannabidiol (CBD) drinks for UK consumers. 

The company’s manufacturing and distribution business, George Botanicals, has created a water-soluble CBD emulsion that can be added to food and drinks.

Geremy Thomas, the chief executive of Sativa, told Proactive Investors he has been in discussions with beverage companies he could not name yet to incorporate the emulsion into drinks.

READ: Sativa says 2019 first quarter revenues exceeding total revenues in the group’s first year of trading

“CBD products are mainly oil based but putting oils in water is difficult so we’ve made an emulsion that we can sell into the food and drinks industry,” he said.

Thomas expects the company to see a “big revenue uptick” from the new CBD products George Botanicals is developing.

George Botanicals' products currently include oils, balms, capsules and liquid additives for e-cigarettes.

The products are available online and at Sativa’s newly opened CBD retail store, Goodbody Wellness, in Bath.  

Sativa to roll out 100 CBD wellness stores 

Sativa opened the Bath store last Friday evening and plans to open 100 stores in the next two years. The next two stores will be opened in Cirencester and Bristol.

Thomas said the Bath store has already experienced strong demand in its first week of operation.

READ: Sativa opens first CBD wellness store with trading ahead of expectations

“Customers really liked the experience and bought more than we thought they would and I think that’s very encouraging,” he said.

While the roll out of 100 stores in two years may seem like an ambitious target, Thomas sees an opportunity to tap into a market that is expected to be worth £300mln in the UK this year and £1bn by 2025.

Thomas said the company plans to use its advantage as the UK’s first medical cannabis firm and get ahead of the game before rivals enter the scene.

New name to reflect new strategy 

The company listed on the NEX exchange as Sativa Investments in 2017 but has since changed its name to Sativa Group to reflect a change in the business model in response to the legalisation of medicinal marijuana in the UK last November.

Sativa was formed as an investment vehicle that put money into other medicinal cannabis firms. But it has since transformed into a trading company with three UK businesses including George Botanicals, Goodbody Wellness and medicinal cannabis research facility PhytoVista Laboratories.

“We have three trading businesses that are growing fast and generating real revenues from real customers who are repurchasing our products because they are happy with it,” Thomas said.

Last month Sativa said revenue in the first quarter of 2019 had exceeded the amount generated in its first year of trading.

Thomas said the group has continued to trade strongly and is optimistic about delivering robust results for the full year.

“I’m an old fashioned businessman that likes to have revenue, customers and growth and that’s what we’ve been focusing on,” he said.

London 'waking up' to potential of cannabis market 

He admits the UK market still has a long way to go as doctors are still reluctant to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients despite the change in rules.

However, he expects medicinal cannabis will become an “important and sizeable” sector in the UK given the growth seen in America, Canada and Germany as well as the fact that a number of companies have been looking to list in London. 

“The city is waking up to that and think we’ll see more and more quality companies coming to the market but we’re just keen to keep our first mover advantage in place,” he said.

He added: “There’s upward pressure from our patients, downward pressure from our senior politicians and the bit in the middle has to get their act together and that’s a process….but we’re seeing more and more progress.”

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Fri, 05 Jul 2019 15:40:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/223445/sativa-in-talks-with-beverage-firms-to-create-cbd-drinks-in-the-uk-223445.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/rns/16457/LSE20190515100223_14074838/ Wed, 15 May 2019 19:02:23 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/rns/16457/LSE20190515100223_14074838/ <![CDATA[News - London emerges as new hot spot for medicinal cannabis firms to list after UK relaxes rules ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/219176/london-emerges-as-new-hot-spot-for-medicinal-cannabis-firms-to-list-after-uk-relaxes-rules-219176.html A batch of medicinal cannabis firms look set to exploit London’s deep-pocketed investors with stock market listings this year and the flurry of activity is expected to continue. 

The legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the UK last November has seen London emerge as a new hub for companies to list.

READ: Medicinal cannabis: UK remains behind the curve despite new legislation

Canaccord Genuity analyst,  Alex Brooks, told Proactive Investors: “We are working very hard to get a number of companies listed in London …we anticipate that there will be several that we have listed by the end of this year.”

Medicinal cannabis IPOs expected 

European Cannabis Holdings is among the medical cannabis firms understood to be eyeing a stock market listing this year.

The company has so far raised £6mln from investors and is expected to use a London float to support the development of three medicinal cannabis clinics in the UK.

Kanabo Research is reportedly another medicinal company with plans to list in the UK.

The Israeli company, which has developed a vaporiser medical device called VapePod that allows people to inhale cannabis oils, is expected to float on London’s main market by summer.

Medicinal cannabis firm Jacana, founded by Jamaican businesswoman Alexandra Chong, is also said to be mulling an initial public offering on London’s junior market AIM.

Chong, who previously ran the Lulu dating app and is married to Sir Richard Branson's nephew Jack Brockway, has a 100-acre farm in Jamaica and plans to sell medicinal cannabis in North America, Europe and the UK.

London-listed firms expanding into cannabis 

Outside the medicinal cannabis space, there are companies already listed in London that are dipping their toes in the sector.   

Oil and gas firm Highlands Natural Resources PLC (LON:HNR), which trades on the main market, has raised £1.3mln to set up a cannabis operation in Colorado.

READ: Highlands Natural Resources to enter cannabidiol market in Colorado with new growing operation

The new venture, Zoetic Organics, will grow hemp and sell products such as organic hemp oil.

Imperial X, listed on the NEX exchange, plans to launch a cannabis business after its mining investment firm failed.

The firm will join Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SAT), which is also on the NEX exchange.

Sativa became the UK’s first cannabis investment vehicle to float when it listed last March and its shares have doubled in value since.  

It is currently the only pure-play medicinal cannabis company listed in London but that is about to change, Brooks said.

“It is my judgment that by the end of this year there will be half a dozen listed cannabis companies in London of meaningful scale and that we would be involved in a good chunk of them,” he said.

“That’s just the beginning because if you look at all of these companies they are all relatively conservative cannabis plays … they are very medicinally focused, and there is a lot more scope for the industry beyond just that and there is huge scope for volume growth in the short and medium term.”

Brooks thinks Europe is in the early stages of a growth industry as there is a “very meaningful” end market with a “meaningful set of companies”.

Cannabis the new bitcoin?

Companies that list in London will be hoping to emulate the success seen in Canada, where valuations have surged. 

There has been a rapid rise of cannabis companies in Canada since the country legalised recreational cannabis last October.

Some critics have drawn comparisons to the boom of bitcoin, which has experienced extreme price volatility.  

"There's a belief that it’s all a bubble and it’s all going to end, which is not at all consistent with what the market is doing with these stocks," Brooks said.

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Fri, 26 Apr 2019 11:05:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/219176/london-emerges-as-new-hot-spot-for-medicinal-cannabis-firms-to-list-after-uk-relaxes-rules-219176.html
<![CDATA[News - Sativa Investments appoints head of new retail arm ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212572/sativa-investments-appoints-head-of-new-retail-arm-212572.html Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI) has appointed Chris Jones to launch wellness centres that will sell a medicinal range of cannabis-derived products.

Retail professional Jones most recently held the role of consultant sales director at a vaping company with 110 outlets and worked with another in Northern Ireland with 20 stores.

WATCH: Sativa Investments 'at the forefront' of developing UK medical cannabis market

Before that, he had senior positions in the mobile phone industry with names such as Nokia, where he was UK sales director, Dextra Mobile Accessories and Phones 4U. 

Jones, who will be the managing director of Sativa Wellness Centres Limited, helped build Swindon-based mobile service provider Cellular Operations to a subscriber base of 500,000 before it was acquired by Vodafone.

“Chris' experience of growing businesses in these highly competitive markets, coupled with very strong retail and franchise operational knowledge, is an ideal fit for Sativa's aggressive market development plans for its Goodbody & Blunt wellness centres,” said founder and chief executive Geremy Thomas.

“The model will be proofed with two to three retail outlets, then the company has the option to roll it out further or as a franchise.”

CBD products 

The aforementioned Goodbody & Blunt will offer customers a variety of cannabidiol, or CBD wellness products at drop-in cafes.

CBD is a cannabis compound that is thought to have significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned”.

The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for people looking for relief from inflammation, pain and anxiety.

Earlier this month, NEX-listed Sativa, which was set up as a vehicle to invest in medicinal cannabis, announced plans to become a first-mover seed-to-consumer business here in the UK, following the model pioneered in Canada.

Its blueprint will require at least £12mln of funding – which would cover the cost of a glasshouse operation in Wiltshire – and probably more if it is to fully bankroll its ambitious plans.

In afternoon trading, Sativa Investments shares on the NEX market were trading at a mid-price of 5.875p each, up from Monday's close of 5.65p.

 -- Adds share price --

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Tue, 15 Jan 2019 08:04:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212572/sativa-investments-appoints-head-of-new-retail-arm-212572.html
<![CDATA[News - Sativa Investments inks IP deal with Canada's Veritas Pharma ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200826/sativa-investments-inks-ip-deal-with-canada-s-veritas-pharma-200826.html Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI) said it has signed an IP sharing agreement with Canada’s Veritas Pharma Inc, which it hopes will help its efforts in the UK’s emerging cannabis market.

The company said it will use Veritas’ cannabis strain lead selection to assist its application to the Home Office Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit for a medicinal cannabis growing licence.

READ: Sativa Investments refines Orderly Market Agreements to improve liquidity for NEX traded shares

In May, Sativa invested C$200,000 in Veritas.

Chief executive, Geremy Thomas, said: "A key part of Sativa's strategy is to target overseas investments that can be leveraged to assist the company commercially as it participates in the industry in the UK and wider Europe.

“In this case, Veritas' scientific knowledge of seed selection will expedite a potential UK licence application to enable Sativa to grow cannabis strains for its own research and development purposes including use by recipients of grants awarded by the Sativa Foundation."

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Mon, 16 Jul 2018 07:59:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200826/sativa-investments-inks-ip-deal-with-canada-s-veritas-pharma-200826.html
<![CDATA[News - Sativa Investments refines Orderly Market Agreements to improve liquidity for NEX traded shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200300/sativa-investments-refines-orderly-market-agreements-to-improve-liquidity-for-nex-traded-shares-200300.html Sativa Investments PLC (NEX: SATI) has moved to improve liquidity in its NEX-listed stock by agreeing to a refinement of the Orderly Market Agreements entered into at the time of its float at the end of March.

The group, the UK's first medicinal cannabis investment vehicle, said it has made the move because it is “aware of the exceptional and growing demand amongst investors to own shares in the Company.”

READ: Sativa Investments buys UK medicinal cannabis lab for £435K

All investors who subscribed for Sativa’s ordinary shares in the company at admission entered into an Orderly Market Agreement and the group’s directors of Sativa agreed, should demand arise, to exercise their allocated options and sell the resulting ordinary shares through its corporate adviser and broker, Peterhouse Capital Limited.

However, given the unprecedented demand in the market for its shares, and the desire of Sativa’s directors not to have to be the sole suppliers of stock at levels which its board believes do not reflect the long-term value of the company, it has agreed that all shareholders who are subject to the current Orderly Market Agreements will be permitted to trade in the stock.

The firm added that such trading on the NEX Exchange Growth Market will require the consent of Peterhouse, although it added such consent should not “be unreasonably withheld”.

Sativa said its directors remain subject to the Lock-In Agreements entered into on admission, but they will no longer be required to make further shares available through the exercise of their options.

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Fri, 06 Jul 2018 15:09:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200300/sativa-investments-refines-orderly-market-agreements-to-improve-liquidity-for-nex-traded-shares-200300.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Sativa Investments PLC acquires UK-based PhytoVista Laboratories ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/9768/sativa-investments-plc-acquires-uk-based-phytovista-laboratories-9768.html Tue, 03 Jul 2018 15:50:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/9768/sativa-investments-plc-acquires-uk-based-phytovista-laboratories-9768.html <![CDATA[News - Sativa Investments buys UK medicinal cannabis lab for £435K ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200048/sativa-investments-buys-uk-medicinal-cannabis-lab-for-435k-200048.html Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI) has agreed to buy PhytoVista Laboratories, a UK-based lab that tests cannabis oils and hemp products, for £435,000.

The British medicinal cannabis investment vehicle will pay £235,000 in cash and £200,000 worth of shares at 0.04p per share to buy PhytoVista from Carbon Managers Limited.

READ: Sativa Investments positions itself for 'huge opportunity' in medicinal cannabis

Carbon is wholly owned by Sativa’s chief executive Geremy Thomas but he was not involved in the decision-making for the deal.

Sativa independent directors Noel Lyons and Mark Blower assessed the deal and consulted Dr. Stuart Ungar, who is a member of the company's medicinal cannabis advisory board.

Sativa said the purchase price was well below the market value of the assets and equipment acquired. If purchased new, the equipment laboratory would cost more than £580,000, the company said.

“Every batch of medicinal cannabis including CBD oil requires stringent testing, including for cannabinoids, pesticides, heavy metals and mycotoxins, along with full testing for terpenes, residual solvents and microbiology,” Blower said.

“PhytoVista provides a UK-based laboratory facility available to all jurisdictions already testing CBD products commercially, and of course able to service the UK market if and when regulatory changes hit the UK too."

PhytoVista has preferred partner status to the UK's Cannabis Trades Association for batch testing of medicinal cannabis products.

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Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:01:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200048/sativa-investments-buys-uk-medicinal-cannabis-lab-for-435k-200048.html
<![CDATA[News - Sativa Investments positions itself for 'huge opportunity' in medicinal cannabis ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/198184/sativa-investments-positions-itself-for-huge-opportunity-in-medicinal-cannabis-198184.html Britain’s medicinal cannabis market can be larger than Canada’s if laws here change believes Geremy Thomas, chief executive of Sativa Investments PLC (LON:SATI).

At present, there is a virtual ban in the UK on any product containing Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the substance in marijuana/cannabis that makes you high.

WATCH: Sativa Investments has "unique" market position for UK cannabis investors

But it is a combination of THC and CBD, a pain reliever also derived from marijuana and that is legal in the UK, which gives medicinal cannabis its potency says Thomas.

In Canada, which legalised medicinal products in 2001, sales are predicted to soar to C$10bn (£5.8bn).

There are almost twice as many people in the UK so it’s fair to see the market here being considerably larger, Thomas told Proactive.

Germany is another example. Laws were relaxed in March and by June medicinal prescriptions had jumped to 5,000 per month.

“A lot of people are getting benefit from the component parts of cannabis restricted in the UK because of political campaigns in the seventies.

“Why should our [UK] patients be denied access to something that is proving to be very effective around the world.

“The market is racing away in North America and on our doorstep in Germany.”

And that’s the point of Sativa.

Shift in opinion

Initially, it will give UK investors a way into the North American markets but ultimately Thomas wants to establish a first mover position if the UK legal position changes.

Thomas is convinced there will be a change in the law, albeit it might take up to two years.

Public opinion has shifted, he says. 

High profile cases such as six year-old epileptic Alfie Dingley, whose mother had to go the Netherlands to get a cannabis oil that dramatically improved his condition, are driving a change in mood.

Thomas, a serial entrepreneur, admits his interest is financial rather than compassionate and points to a track record of being ahead of the game in his previous ventures.

His first fortune was in mobile phones just as cellular took off.

That was followed by a shift into telecoms ahead of the dot.com boom and most recently a move into consumer finance that benefited from a regulatory crackdown.

That business, George Banco, was sold for £53mln last year.

A conference in Vancouver convinced Thomas that medicinal cannabis was the place to make his next fortune.

“I was blown away by the scale and size of the investment,” he says.

Sativa a way in

EU laws prohibit direct investment into overseas companies where the operations are technically illegal within the investor’s own country, but through a vehicle such as Sativa there is a route in.

NEX-listed, the company raised £1.6mln when it went public, most of which came from Thomas himself and friends and family.

The company has made two small investments so far: Veritas a Toronto-based firm which is carrying out testing to find the optimum combinations of CBD/THC for specific ailments.

Rapid Dose Therapeutics, meanwhile, has adapted dissolving film technology to deliver cannabis oils accurately, quicker and more effectively.

Sativa is likely to assume the rights to distribute Rapid Dose’s products in the UK and Europe.

The company has invested C$200,000 in both companies, while there is a memorandum of understanding in place for a 51% stake in George Botanicals, a UK-based CBD business owned by Carbon Managers, another of Thomas’s vehicles.

While these investments are small, Thomas is not short of ambition for the company and cites UK-based but Nasdaq-listed GW Pharma, which has a market value of US$4bn.

GW is reportedly close to US approval for a cannabis-based childhood epilepsy drug Epidolex, which it might launch in Europe next year.

Spreading the word

If successful it will raise awareness of the market even more though Thomas believes a major part of his role at Sativa is to educate both the marketplace and investors about the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

It’s a role he clearly relishes.

Unlike opiates, for instance, cannabis oils deliver real benefits to patients and without doing damage to them in the process.

People written off by traditional medicines have also seen dramatic turnarounds on cannabis oil.

“The opportunity in this space is huge and the driver is that medicinal cannabis works.”

 

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Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:03:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/198184/sativa-investments-positions-itself-for-huge-opportunity-in-medicinal-cannabis-198184.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Sativa Investments has "unique" market position for UK cannabis investors ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/9359/sativa-investments-has-unique-market-position-for-uk-cannabis-investors-9359.html Wed, 23 May 2018 12:09:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/9359/sativa-investments-has-unique-market-position-for-uk-cannabis-investors-9359.html <![CDATA[News - Sativa invests in Canadian medicinal cannabis group Veritas Pharma ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/197349/sativa-invests-in-canadian-medicinal-cannabis-group-veritas-pharma-197349.html Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI) has subscribed for half a million shares in Veritas Pharma Inc (OTCMKTS:VRTHF), an emerging Canadian pharma company specialising in medicinal cannabis therapies.

The NEX-listed medicinal cannabis investment vehicle said it had subscribed for 500,000 new shares at C$0.4 per share, a total cost of C$0.2mln in cash.

WATCH: Sativa Investments has "unique" market position for UK cannabis investors

The firm said Veritas Pharma focuses on the discovery, product development and commercialisation of effective patented Medicinal Cannabis therapies which target disease conditions in the areas of chronic pain, senior long-term and palliative care.

Sativa added that Veritas, through its subsidiary company, Cannevert Therapeutics Ltd., was aiming to obtain compelling scientific evidence for healthcare professionals to utilise medicinal cannabis strains with a reliable therapeutic effect on patients.

Geremy Thomas, Sativa chief executive, said: "We are delighted to increase our portfolio of investments by, in this case, adding a pharmaceutical research and development business.

Veritas Pharma is a well-respected company in the medicinal cannabis sector with an excellent pipeline for the development of strains to treat unmet clinical needs, and is a highly suitable investment."

He added: "The investment in Veritas reflects the Company's strategy to invest in well-established companies in jurisdictions where the use of Medicinal Cannabis is regulatory accepted. Canada approved the use of medicinal cannabis in 2001."

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Mon, 21 May 2018 07:57:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/197349/sativa-invests-in-canadian-medicinal-cannabis-group-veritas-pharma-197349.html