Guidelines from the UK’s financial watchdog allowing medical cannabis companies to list on the London Stock Exchange have been welcomed by those in the sector.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued new guidelines on Friday 18 September, clearing medical cannabis companies to list on the London Stock Exchange.
However those that sell cannabis for recreational use will still be banned, even in countries where it is legal, due to the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA).
In a statement, the FCA said it was setting out its approach in response to queries from cannabis-related companies and that the guidance was pending following consultation.
“The legal position of purely UK-based medicinal cannabis companies and cannabis oil companies is clear. UK-based medicinal cannabis companies can be admitted to the Official List, if the company has the appropriate Home Office licences for their activities where they are required,” the FCA said.
“Overseas-licensed medicinal cannabis companies and cannabis oil companies are in a different position. These companies may be admitted to the Official List, provided we are satisfied PoCA does not apply and they otherwise satisfy the criteria for listing. Before they are admitted, we will carry out a review of their case where they will need to satisfy us as to the PoCA risk.”
This decision has been welcomed by those in the sector, who described it as ‘long overdue’ and said it should be seen as a big ‘step forward’ for the industry.
“This announcement from The Financial Conduct Authority has long been awaited by the European cannabis industry,” Stephen Murphy, managing director of global cannabis market intelligence firm, Prohibition Partners told Cannabis Health.
“The promise of a London listing has been extremely attractive to cannabis companies for some years and despite previous efforts has failed to materialise in a senior listing for some time.
“The guidance provided by The FCA should be seen as a very positive step forward and demonstrates a willingness by the FCA to engage with cannabis companies who are dedicated to the medical side of the market.
“This will unlock capital that has been badly needed to open up great access to patients across Europe and further legitimise the cannabis industry in Europe.”
It is hoped that the move will bring vital investment into the sector and ultimately increase access for patients.
Steve Moore, of the Centre for Medical Cannabis, added: “We welcome this clarification and the upcoming consultation.
“It’s a long overdue recognition that medicinal cannabis is a distinct category and will hopefully unleash new much needed investment into the sector.”
Beckham-backed cannabis brand floats on LSE
A UK cannabis company, backed by David Beckham, has been valued in excess of £25 million in its first day trading on the London stock market.
UK-based Cellular Goods has become the first provider of consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids to join the London stock market.
The company has been admitted to the Official List following a significantly oversubscribed initial public offering that raised £13 million before expenses.
More than 6,000 valid applications for shares were received in respect of the IPO.
Shares will commence trading on the main market of the LSE from 8am on Friday 26 February, under the ticker symbol CBX.
A total of 260,000,000 ordinary shares have been issued at five pence each to institutional and retail investors, valuing Cellular Goods at a market capitalisation in excess of £25 million.
Cellular Goods was established in August 2018 to develop efficacy-led and research-backed cannabinoid products.
The initial focus is on premium skincare and topical athletic recovery products to be launched from this autumn.
Earlier this month it was revealed that former England footballer, David Beckham’s investment firm, DB Ventures had bought a stake in the company.
The purpose of the flotation on the LSE is to raise the public profile and provide new funds for the company’s expansion and long-term growth.
“Cellular Goods’ debut on the London Stock Exchange is a major step in the company’s development and provides a strong foundation to execute our long-term growth strategy,”commented Alexis Abraham, chief executive officer
“We are delighted with the strong support from a wide range of institutional and retail investors to build premium consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids under the Cellular Goods brand.”
First study of cannabis in veterans with PTSD
The first observational study to determine the efficacy of cannabis for veterans with PTSD has gained approval from regulators in the US.
US charity, The Battle Brothers Foundation has received approval to launch an observational study on the use of medical cannabis to help combat PTSD in veterans.
The two groups received approval to proceed with the study from the national Independent Review Board (IRB), the independent committee that reviews the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical.
“This news could not come at a better time,” Bryan Buckley, founder and president of the board for Battle Brothers Foundation.
“Every day, 22 veterans are dying due to effects of post-traumatic stress from opioid addiction to depression. Through anecdotal experiences, we know that cannabis can alleviate symptoms and provide relief.
“We appreciate that the IRB recognises the validity of and the need for this study.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, the rate of PTSD among returning service members varies widely across wars and eras.
In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5 percent of deployed and non-deployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20 to 30 percent.
As many as 500,000 US troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.
The study will enroll 60 California veterans, with moderate or severe PTSD over the next year.
Participants will dose and titrate individually purchased products under their own discretion and will be followed for 90 days to evaluate the safety and efficiency of cannabis on their symptoms.
Results of the study will be documented and monitored at that time.
The Battle Brothers Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Helmand Valley Growers Company (HVGC), a cannabis company founded by disabled United States Special Operations veterans that donates 100 percent of its profits to fund research on the medical use of cannabis for veterans.
Can CBD improve your fitness?
The market is full of products which promise weight loss, muscle gain and recovery benefits, with glowing endorsements from all kinds of sportspeople. Here we explore what CBD has to offer.
From reducing risks of conditions such as heart disease to improving overall mood, getting the right amount and right kind of exercise provides numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.
With the likes of gyms, leisure centres and exercise classes closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have resorted to home workouts for the first time and are looking for the perfect supplement to aid these sessions – could CBD be the one?
One of the most popular reasons for using CBD as part of your exercise routine is the effect it has on recovery and pain relief. Whether you’re suffering from a slight niggle or a long-term injury, the remedy has been proven to speed recovery and fight fatigue, with one study finding that by reducing oxidative damage – which is caused by physical stress – CBD can help us recover faster and perform better.
Topical CBD products such as creams can be particularly beneficial to those who are prone to joint pain, by providing highly targeted relief to ensure that those unavoidable twinges don’t negatively impact your overall workout.
In addition, CBD may also be effective in relieving muscular aches and soreness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2009 study into the effects of cannabinoids on the body found that they can suppress inflammatory response, leading to less tension in the area and, in turn, less of a break needed between your workouts.
One of the biggest pre-workout struggles is building enough motivation and momentum to get started and keep your routine going. While it hasn’t been shown to be a performance-enhancing product, the research into CBD’s effect on areas such as mental health and sleep quality leads us to believe that it can be a great supplement for breaking down mental barriers.
Several studies have linked CBD to overall improvement in mood, while it has also been well documented that the remedy can effectively ease symptoms of depression thanks to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. While CBD doesn’t necessarily boost these levels, its impact on the brain’s receptors may affect how we respond to the serotonin already in our systems.
Research backs up these claims, with a 2014 animal study finding that CBD’s effect on the receptors produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects – both of which can be extremely helpful when gathering motivation to exercise.
Too tired for a workout? A review of studies in 2017 found that CBD “may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia”, meaning it’s likely to improve sleep quality, allowing us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a workout.
While research into certain areas is still ongoing, and it’s worth noting that effects will depend on external factors such as dosage, it would appear that CBD has several pre- and post-workout benefits.
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