One Year After The First Cannabis Stocks Joined The LSE, Could We See A Fresh Run Of Cannabis IPOs This Year?

FEBRUARY 2022 significant the 1year anniversary of MGC Pharmaceuticals IPO on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which saw marijuana stocks traded on the platform for the veryfirst time in its 320-year history.

The occasion significant a substantial action forward for the market, and in the words of MGC’s Co-Founder Roby Zomer ‘opened the door’ to one of the world’s mostsignificant markets for marijuana business.

It stimulated a duration of unchecked optimism and chance in the European marijuana sector, leading lotsof, consistingof Mr Zomer, to anticipate a swathe of business to follow his steps on to the LSE.

Yet a year on and the landmark listing’s tradition informs a various story. The momentum which saw 4 business list on the LSE in fast succession last year has slowed to a near deadstop, seeing numerous IPO competitors delaying their prepares, ditching them entirely, or targeting option markets.

However, with momentum event speed when onceagain throughout Europe as some if its mostsignificant markets take more actions towards liberalisation, might we see another flurry of marijuana IPOs on the LSE in 2022?

This Year’s Contenders 

Cannabis healthcare business CiiTech stated its intent to list on the LSE at an preliminary assessment of £17.5m in July last year.

Despite falling around ‘three months’ behind schedule, CiiTech is pressing ahead with its prepares to go public, and means to launch on the LSE some time this year.

The business’s creator Clifton Flack informed BusinessCann that CiiTech was notlikely to be an outlier, and that numerous of the business captured up in last year’s IPO ‘frenzy’ might still launch a listing this year.

“Around the summertime, in August or July, there needto haveactually been at least 10, 15, 20 business that began the procedure,” he stated.

“And I understand a lot of them that haveactually provided up. But there’s a lot that are still going through it. I believe there’s a lot more that will come back online and provide it a go.”

UK CBD brandname Love Hemp is another business pressing ahead with a listing close to a year after atfirst revealing its intent in April 2021.

Currently noted on the Aquis Stock Exchange, Love Hemp is targeting an up-listing onto the LSE which it validated to BusinessCann was on track to go ahead in Q1 this year.

Love Hemp’s Chairman Andrew Male stated that as a brandname ‘effectively house grown in the UK’ it has ‘always been focused on the LSE’, which provides it the chance to both gainaccessto higher capital and ‘be agent of that UK market’.

It’s not simply brandnames strictly connected to the UK targeting an LSE listing though, Greek grower Hellenic Dynamics is likewise in line to endedupbeing the exchange’s initially noted marijuana grower.

After approaching The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) back in July 2021 Hellenic’s Vice President Davinder Rai stated it was now ‘at the end of our procedure with the FCA’ with a listing anticipated imminently.

He included that once Hellenic lastly makes it onto the LSE, he preparesfor ‘there will be a wave of business that come’ lateron.

South West Brands was another of the preliminary tranche of marijuana business to get captured up in the IPO craze last year, and likewise revealed prepares to go public in July, nevertheless the status of their application is presently uncertain.

Vertigrow Technology, which owns Midlands-based grower Celadon is likewise due to be confessed to the LSE’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) as part of a reverse takeover offer with Summerway Capital.

One monetary market specialist informed BusinessCann they thought IPO activity was mostlikely to choice up ‘midway through the year’, however was notlikely to occur in the veryfirst quarter, and possibly ‘not this side of summertime’.

Less Than Expected

While 2022 looks set to be a year we see the number of marijuana stocks traded on the LSE at least double, the number would still be well listedbelow what lotsof market leaders had expected by this point.

“I idea that by the end of 2021 there might be up to 20 business. I idea there was going to be a flood,” Mr Flack stated.

His forecasts were echoed by the LSE’s Kanabo’s CEO Avihu Tamir, who formerly stated he anticipated ‘a lots business’ to list by the end of 2021.

Another monetary professional included: “I needto confess, if I looked back, I would haveactually forecasted that we would have had a lot more on by now in the marijuana sector, not simply 4 or 5.”

FCA Changes 

These modest numbers might be the outcome of a long hold-up in the listing procedure brought about by considerable modifications enforced by the FCA.

Following the publication of brand-new assistance last year, marijuana business who desire to be accepted onto the LSE needsto show that their operations in every area they run satisfy UK law.

This needs  them to procure professional legal viewpoints, all ‘underpinned by a QC lawyer in the UK’, to assure the FCA their abroad operations subscribe to UK legal requirements regardless of regional law.

Mr Flack stated this brand-new assistance implied his business was required to ‘go back to the drawing board on (its) legal viewpoints and due diligence’.

“Mostly since we run in England, Spain, South Africa, Brazil and Israel and a lot of other nations.

“So for us that was perhaps about 3 months hold-up, I’d state about 3 months going off to about half a lots various nations and making sure that whatever that we strategy to do or may like to do is certified.”

Many young marijuana business who had prepared to follow in MGC, Kanabo, Cellular Goods and Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies’ onto the LSE last summerseason likewise saw their opportunities ditched completely following a 4000% increase in the minimum market capitalisation (MMC) limit.

In what one market expert explained as a ‘brutal’ procedure, the FCA revealed in December 2021 that it was raising the MMC from £700,000 to £30m for both premium and requirement listings.

“I guess there were a coupleof business lined up for that for the requirement list that have now been either shelved entirely or looking at other listing places such as Aquis, where its much harder to raise cash.

“There’s lotsof of these newbies that are going to fulfill the minimum market cap requirement.”

180-Degree Shift in Sentiment

This abrupt modification has avoided a substantial part of early phase business from accessing the capital they requirement for development on the LSE, however the efficiency of those who effectively noted has mostlikely prevented even more.

According to Mr Flack, market belief towards marijuana stocks hasactually gonethrough a ‘complete 180 shift from 12 months ago’ when there was an ‘absolute craze’.

“Companies that went public have underperformed to some degree,as far as investors are worried. And typically, the marijuana stocks are being hammered all over the world.”

The underperformance of marijuana stocks throughout the world due to both ‘overvaluations’ and the pandemic hasactually seen a marked drop in cravings for marijuana stocks, one expert informed BusinessCann. 

“It’s whether the financier cravings is there duetothefactthat that mindset is significantly various than it was this time last year.

“It was simply a genuine feeding craze for anything with marijuana, seeing all these concerns greatly oversubscribed. Now, I believe they’d battle.”

They included that while marijuana was no longer the buzzword it assoonas was in the UK for financiers, this momentum was mostlikely to come back around.

“At the minute noted Cannabis is, I wouldn’t state out of favour, however it’s simply not as interesting. Don’t forget there’s 1000s of stocks for individuals to put their cash in, and it’s simply not the hot sector at the minute. Will it be onceagain? I’m sure it will.”

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