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The London Stock Exchange opens its doors to the cannabis industry




The newly Brexited City of London is expanding its reach to allow cannabis companies to register with the LSE. This development is absolutely due to the European divorce, but also a sign of the potential, if not the appetite, for a future development of the sector at national level.

Cannabis reform has progressed slowly in the UK since 2017. Opening up the LSE, however, could easily be the rocket fuel it needs. Indeed, the first results were nothing less than stratospheric.

Israeli medical vaping maker Kanabo is the first company to go public (see a double the value of its stock market price Therefore). Australias MGC Pharmaceuticals was the first to list its shares (last week). A skin care company backed by a football legend (from football to Americans) David Beckham is also planning its debut although they use a synthetic form of CBD.

As a result, London is poised to be a vibrant center of cannafinance. Especially since the other obvious exchange nearby, the Frankfurt-based Deutsche Brse, has so far proved less than excited about cannabis-related stocks, unlike its North American counterparts ( see TSX, NYSE and Nasdaq). This is why, to date, there has been no canna-IPO held by Germany. The closest competitor to date has been the launch of a Medical Cannabis Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Last year.

For this reason, the initiation of a canna-friendly UK trade is exactly the development that the British and beyond, the Europe-based cannabis industry needs right now. Especially since US stocks are still having difficulty jumping the Atlantic.

Huge impact on vertical development

At home, the launch of a more flexible path to equity is an interesting development for an industry that has struggled to gain ground, if not legitimacy. Indeed, most of the gains in the UK medical market to date have come from relentless lobbying by patients and their families, not the cannabis companies themselves. This has largely led to a mostly imported industry in recent years (mostly from Holland but also from Canada).

Now that will change, rather drastically. UK businesses have been running as best they can to prepare for the obvious new demand, if not reality. However, a familiar murderous storm of existing regulations, including financial use beyond medical use, has essentially crippled domestic industry. So far, that is.

Now, with patient demand for medicines from the continent over a six-month time frame (extended as an emergency after Brexit), the UK medical industry has essentially a captive and rather desperate market. Only providing the NHS with alternatives to GW Pharmaceuticals products (which don’t work as well for many patients as other formulations) otherwise Bedrocans (based in the Netherlands) is a healthy company that only sees an upward trajectory for the next one. decade (at least).

Higher standards require more money

Growing and producing cannabis in the UK and EU is much more complex, complex and expensive than it is now across the Atlantic. This is true of both the medical and non-medical market. Even after Brexit, for example, the UK will keep its own version of Novel Food Law, a special form of food regulation that applies to the non-THC part of the cannabis conversation in Europe. The country also lacks a national infrastructure to develop and cultivate its own medicine.

The ability to fundraise in London for such activities only in Britain is absolutely important, especially since at present patients are mostly cut off from alternatives.

Beyond the UK in particular, this development is also likely to have a huge impact in the rest of Europe. There is not enough GMP cultivation at present and this and mining requires money to create. A booming cannabis securities market in London may well fuel some of this now stalled development in the EU, especially given the sectors’ lack of popularity in Frankfurt. Not to mention the pressure the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on all aspects of development (including getting facilities certified in the first place).

Following a widespread vaccine rollout, lukewarm economies everywhere will certainly be looking for new, sustainable shoots and leaves to regenerate (among other things) a healthy tourism industry. Cannabis is absolutely a part of this recipe.

Portugal, Greece and parts of Eastern Europe could also benefit (see in particular Poland).

The impact on comprehensive reform

What this development will not do, certainly in the short term, however, is a great help for the construction of nascent leisure infrastructure (see the Netherlands and Luxembourg). It is not only in London, but also in Frankfurt. No one in Europe is ready for this discussion, although a new day is clearly starting to dawn.

Where the leisure industry will actually fall in terms of regulation, starting with securities law, is one of the biggest issues still hanging over the development of the entire sector in Europe. .

However, here is the other reality which is starting to be as true in the EU and UK as anywhere else. First the medical. Then comes leisure with the pram.

A strong medical industry in Europe will drive other conversations forward. Indeed, it has already started. The implications of Luxembourg next year (as it prepares to implement the first nationally approved European recreational market) will indeed be interesting to watch.

While more money doesn’t automatically translate into more reform (see the volatility of large Canadian SOEs in this area so far), access to capital certainly helps.

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