Kanabo going ever higher as investors can’t get enough of cannabis craze

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Shares in London’s cannabis companies are continuing to waft higher as investors rush to participate in this budding sub-sector

Kanabo Group Plc (LON:KNB), which made it debut earlier this week, saw its shares 93% higher at 35.7p by Wednesday lunchtime, up more than fivefold from the 6.5p at which the company raised £6mln in its IPO.

READ: London’s cannabis sector finally budding two decades after GW Pharma blazed trail

The Tel Aviv-based group is the maker of the VapePod, an inhaler nicknamed the ‘cannabis Nespresso’, which provides metered dosages of its proprietary cannabis-based oil formulations to treat sleep disorders and relieve pain.

Shares in FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD), which has been cultivating a burgeoning cannabis section of its portfolio in recent weeks, were up 10% to over 12p in morning trading, close to a 52-week high. 

FastForward took a 0.3% stake in Kanabo as part of its IPO and in recent weeks also invested A$1mln Aussie-listed Little Green Pharma as part of a placing and has backed South West Brands, adding to existing investments cannabis and hemp producer Emmac and hemp-based wellness firm Yooma.

Another recent listing is Europe-based MGC Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:MXC ASX:MXC), which raised £6.5mln of new cash last week and became the first cannabis-sector company to float on London’s main market.

The shares are up 73% to 4.14p since listing, though were not included in Wednesday’s rally. 

MGC said this week it is expanding its research program into the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer, with a similar nanoparticle delivery system to be used that is proving successful in another of its clinical trial into the treatment of COVID-19.

Other cannabis-focused startups are also looking at listing in London to benefit from investors’ new craving, including Grow Group Plc, which last week struck a deal to import products from cannabis and pharma colossus Tilray, following the launch of a £6mln pre-IPO funding round at the end of last year. 

But likely to be next on the cannabis IPO rank is Cellular Goods, a consumer CBD brands business backed by David Beckham’s DB Ventures and looking to raise £8mln in an IPO.

It will be jostling with South West Brands, the FastForward portfolio company whose boss recently said as part of its pre-IPO press push that it is aiming to “launch The Hut Group of cannabis”.

With less razzmatazz, Jersey-based grower Northern Leaf is also eyeing listing as part of its aim to lead the development of a new pharmaceutical-grade hemp cultivation industry on its Channel Islands base.

Boss Ben Langley recently told Proactive that the European cannabis market is likely to develop in a more regimented and organised way than North America, where the addition of recreational weed complicates the story. 

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