GERMANY has its first publicly-listed cannabis company in Cannovum, a Berlin-based importer wholesaler and distributor of medical cannabis.
Co-founder Pia Marten described its listing on the Dusseldorf Stock Exchange as a huge milestone for the industry.
“We are the first German cannabis company, fully-licensed, to debut on a German stock exchange. While this is significant for ourselves it is also very significant for the industry.
“When it comes to medical cannabis there is still a lot of stigma around it. Here in Germany a lot of people still see it as a drug and not a medicine. Our aim is to position ourselves as a serious pharma company,” she said.
Ms Marten founded Berlin-based Cannovum with Marius Koose in 2019 as a wholesaler and distributor of medical cannabis products to the country’s pharmacies.
It is now close to launching its own branded range of cannabis flowers and extracts after signing an agreement with a pesticide-free cultivator in a southern European country.
Ms Marten said the reasoning behind the market flotation on May 6 – it is now also listed on the Hamburg and Berlin Exchanges – was for reasons of transparency and investor access.
She said: “Right now you can only invest in private companies and those shares are quite illiquid. This move on the market will give investors the opportunity to be part of it – this is just the beginning.”
Cannovum did not do a traditional IPO, rather a Direct Public Offering with its 2,316,200 existing shares being priced at €5 giving it a market value of €11,581,000.
The investor base prior to the direct listing consisted mainly of its family and friends network and later fund-raises had secured additional investor capital, which included blockchain investors Florian Reike and Robert Küfner.
Business Opportunity Of The Decade
As well as providing wholesale branded medical cannabis products it also delivers a medical cannabis programme to physicians.
“The bottleneck in Germany is not the number of patients suited to medical cannabis therapy, but there are not enough physicians to prescribe so we have launched the education programme as well as customised workshops to pharmacists and physicians,” she added.
Ms Marten continued: “Medical cannabis is the business opportunity of the decade. And while there are lots of other players in the market our USP is that we want to build our own brand.
“Our own range is really great; no pesticides, cultivated in greenhouse conditions with our focus is on branding sales and marketing on the distribution side.”
She went on to say it will develop this in tandem with continuing to build upon its existing its portfolio of products from other branded suppliers, with ‘pharmacists preferring to order from one wholesaler’.
Leading Scientific Advisor
Cannovum has secured all of the necessary permits and licences from the German authorities as well as achieving EU-GMP standard. It employs over 15 people at the moment with Ms Marten saying this number is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years in line with sales.
Its medical advisory board consists of Dr Konrad Cimander an expert in addiction medicine and cannabis therapy.
Launched in 2017, the German medical cannabis programme has grown significantly to over 128,000 patients in 2020 with further rapid growth expected.
Germany imported over 10 tonnes of medical cannabis last year and some 40 companies are currently allowed to import into the country. Three companies have been licensed for domestic cultivation.
The Dusseldorf Stock Exchange is a fully electronic exchange with over 17,000 listed securities.
It is one of eight in Germany with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – where many Canadian cannabis Licensed Producers are dual-listed – being the country’s largest.