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Lyphe Group to create European cannabis powerhouse with Materia acquisition

Home » Lyphe Group to create European cannabis powerhouse with Materia acquisition

London-based Lyphe Group is to acquire Materia for an undisclosed sum in a move that is expected to have a ‘massively positive effect’ on the industry.

The acquisition will create a new European cannabis powerhouse with an established footprint in the largest markets, and capabilities spanning the supply chain vertical for medical cannabis.

With Materia’s EU GMP-certified manufacturing facility in Malta and an established distribution channel in Germany, Lyphe will be able to accelerate its expansion plans as well as significantly reduce costs for patients.

Read more: UK medical cannabis clinic Lyphe Group expands to Australia

The move is the latest major development from Lyphe, which has been pushing to replicate its successful direct-to-consumer business model across international markets.

CEO of Lyphe, Jonathan Nadler, said: “I am thrilled to announce Lyphe’s agreement to acquire Materia. I’m looking forward to continuing to better the medical cannabis industry across Europe.

Read more: Materia completes first export to Germany from Malta

“Having a vertically integrated supply chain will have a massively positive effect on the industry, demonstrating our continued commitment to improving the patient experience and standards of the market.”

Major European player

Lyphe Group was founded by Rob Reid, Stephen Murphy and Ben Langley in 2018, shortly before the UK government legalised access to medical cannabis. The serial entrepreneurs will remain the largest shareholders after the acquisition of Materia closes.

Lyphe is currently the UK’s leading operator, understood to represent approximately 40 per cent of the medical cannabis market, which according to Prohibition Partners will see patient numbers climb to 30,000 by the end of 2022.

Read more: UK’s Lyphe Group secures £5m funding to expand into Europe

The company has expanded rapidly across its domestic market over the last two years with reported revenue growth of 250 per cent in 2021. This was largely driven by the popularity of its telemedicine division The Medical Cannabis Clinics (TMCC), which is supported by Dispensary Green, a digital dispensary that allows both doctors and patients to track prescriptions. 

Alongside this, the group also operates The Academy of Medical Cannabis, an e-learning platform that provides information and educational resources that doctors need to prescribe medical cannabis in Europe.

Read more: Crafting cannabis policy to adhere to European and international regulations

In May this year, Lyphe secured £5m in a funding round which the company said would be used to finance its ambitious ‘scale-up plans’.

The integration of Materia’s similarly fast-growing operations will significantly expedite this international expansion and strengthen current operations while importantly bolstering the enlarged group’s 2023 revenue forecast to £23m with underlying gross margin in excess of 50 per cent.

New opportunities

Lyphe’s operational priority will be Materia’s Maltese facility, which achieved EU GMP approval in May 2021, and became the first company in history to export medical cannabis for sale in another country from Malta in June this year.

Through this facility, Lyphe will be able to import GACP flower from an extensive global supply chain, process it into EU GMP certified medical cannabis and export it throughout Europe.

It is understood the ‘state-of-the-art’ facility has the capacity to process 6,000kg of cannabis every year, representing potential sales of over €30m.

Materia has distribution operations in Denmark and the UK but Lyphe will be most interested in its EU GDP (Good Distribution Practice) and EU GMP certified pharmaceutical wholesale operation in Germany which will enable the company to rapidly expand its operations in Europe’s largest cannabis market.

While Materia has been distributing medical cannabis to German pharmacies for nearly two years, the first export to Germany from its Maltese facility just took place in June.

Lyphe’s acquisition of Materia will become a significant milestone for the European cannabis industry.

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