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Cantourage Sees Revenues ‘Almost Triple’, BAT Invests $10m In New CBD Joint Venture, & Love Hemp’s New Owner Targets IPO



German-based medical cannabis operator Cantourage has seen its stock jump 22% this week after revealing a 95% increase in revenues in its preliminary Q1 results.

The news came as Germany’s Health Minister Dr Karl Lauterbach unveiled major changes to its cannabis legalisation strategy this week in the face of pushback from the European Commission, seeing stock in its German publicly-listed stablemates dip.

Cantourage, which has operations spanning Europe, seemingly remained unscathed by the news thanks in large part to its ‘successful performance over the past months’.

According to its as-yet unaudited figures, Cantourage saw revenues ‘almost triple’ from €5.2 in 2021 to €14m last year.

This rapid growth has reportedly been driven by the company’s flower and dronabinol businesses, the latter of which it says ‘has been very well received by pharmacists… thereby ensuring a continuous expansion’ of its market share.

Cantourage also reported significant growth in the first quarter of this year, seeing revenues increase by 95% year-on-year.

It attributed this growth to the expansion of its partnerships throughout the last year, which now span 18 countries, and the delivery of products from ‘cannabis craft cultivators’ to European medical markets in Q1 which it says were also ‘enjoying very significant demand among patients’.

Cantourage’s CEO said: “Our successful performance over the past months shows that we are already an established player in the growing market for medical cannabis. With this in mind, we are relaxed about potential delays in the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use in Germany.

“If and when legalisation comes about, we would certainly be very well positioned with our pharmaceutical know-how, our business model and our existing product portfolio to play a role in the leisure market as well. However, this has not been and is not currently part of our short-term business planning. It would then be added in the future. We will take a specific position on this issue when a picture emerges of when and in what form legalization will actually come about.”

British American Tobacco, Charlotte’s Web


Tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) announced plans to delve further into the cannabis space last week after investing $10m into a new CBD joint venture (JV).

A subsidiary of BAT, alongside CBD brand Charlotte’s Web and AJNA BioSciences have entered into the new JV which will aim to secure FDA approval for a ‘novel botanical drug’.

This new drug will reportedly be developed from ‘certain proprietary hemp genetics’ of Charlotte’s Web, in a move its CEO Jacques Tortoroli says will ‘unlock the value of its intellectual property’ in a ‘capital efficient way’.

Charlotte’s Web has granted the JV a licence to use both its intellectual property and its clinical and consumer data.

The collective says it plans to engage with the FDA to file an application for an Investigational New Drug, which will target a ‘neurological condition identified by the JV leadership team’, with Phase 1 clinical development expected to commence this year.

While the leadership team will consist of representatives from all three companies, the project will be led by Orrin Devinsky, the chief medical advisor of AJNA BioSciences.

It will also utilise AJNA’s lab, regulatory services ‘clinical expertise and the provision of clinical services.’

Mr Devinsky was reportedly the principal investigator for the development of GW Pharma’s Epidyolex and is an early stakeholder in AJNA.

AJNA, which calls itself a ‘botanical drug development company focused on mental health and neurological disorders’, is closely tied to Charlotte’s Web.

It was co-founded and remains partly owned by Charlotte Web’s former CEO and Chairman Joel Stanley, and says it is working to ‘develop the world’s first FDA-approved full spectrum cannabinoid drug’.

Both Charlotte’s Web and AJNA will hold 40% of the JV’s share of votes, while BAT will retain the remaining 20% following its $10m investment, with the ‘right to participate in future equity issuances to maintain its pro rata equity position’.

In November last year, BAT invested $56.8m in Charlotte’s Web via a debenture which is convertible at its discretion into a ‘non-controlling equity stake in Charlotte’s Web of approximately 19.9%’.

James Barrett, Commercial Director of Wellbeing and Stimulation at BAT, said: “Our investment in the Joint Venture reinforces our commitment to Charlotte’s Web and represents another step for BAT in our exploration beyond tobacco and nicotine. We continue to transform our business, through strategic investments in innovative consumer, new sciences and technology businesses, as part of our purpose to build A Better Tomorrow.”

Love Hemp 

Portillion Capital, which purchased collapsed CBD firm Love Hemp from administration in February, has announced ambitious plans for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) over the next three months.

According to This Is Money, Portillion has now put in place a new board of directors and signed a fresh sponsorship deal with the UFC.

Should it successfully list in the next three months, Portillion will have achieved in six months what the previous owners were unable to accomplish in a year.

The CBD retailer first announced its plans to launch onto the Standard Segment of the LSE in November 2021, and the process was initially expected to take around three months to complete.

Following a number of delays, Love Hemp announced in September 2022 that the FCA had ‘confirmed to the company that the review of its application has lapsed due to the passage of time.’

It said at the time: “The Board understands this will be disappointing news for shareholders but reaffirms this does not preclude the company progressing any new or dual market listing for the company in the future.”

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