Ananda Developments (ANA:AXS), a UK medical cannabis investment company is aiming to be a leading UK provider of consistent, high quality, medical cannabis that’s also zero carbon.
With a global market of legal cannabis forecast to be worth $91.5 billion by 2028 according to Grand Review Research, the EU market has been growing steadily and Prohibition Partners estimates it will be worth £2.7 billion by 2025, with the UK market valued at £450 million by 2025 according to Arcview’s State of Legal Cannabis Markets, 8th Edition.
The market has seen a 50% increase in the number of cannabis-related IPOs since 2020 with the amount raised on European public markets increasing by over 116.2%.
M&A hit record highs in 2021 with a $7.2 billion acquisition of British cannabis biotech GW Pharmaceuticals by mainstream pharmaceutical player Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Venture capital now makes up over 40% of the capital active in the market as valuations grow and angel investors get priced out according to The European Cannabis Investment Ecosystem, produced in partnership with DLA Piper, Enexis and Hannam & Partners.
The medical cannabis that patients can access in the UK is currently imported, and quality and consistency seems to be variable. We will be providing a UK source of premium quality flower and oils with unique strains suitable for the indications that are being treated in the UK, and with chemovars that thrive in UK conditions.
‘Patients and prescribing doctors can trust they are getting a consistent, high quality UK product, which is fresher because it hasn’t travelled very far, and hasn’t chewed up power or transportation costs coming from the other side of the world.’ Melissa Sturgess, CEO Ananda Developments.
Ananda’s innovative approach aims to reduce the carbon footprint of production and create greater transparency of the product’s cannabinoid profile for the end consumer.
Ananda will use a proven low capex, low opex natural season approach and utilise approximately £4 million of research sunk costs to grow cannabis which will produce near zero greenhouse gas emissions without the use of artificial light or heat.
INNOVATING A GREEN FUTURE FOR UK MEDICAL CANNABIS
The location of Ananda’s cannabis cultivation in the UK was chosen for its ideal climate conditions and medical cannabis will be grown within multi-chapelle structures, providing low diurnal variation in temperature.
Unlike traditional glasshouse growing, multi-chapelle structures are flexible, allowing precise airflow management to create stable temperature and humidity and a process that is low cost, clean and environmentally friendly, all within an industry which is increasingly under fire for its high-energy consumption.
The extraction technology used for the cultivated medical cannabis will also help retain the full cannabinoid and a terpene profile by using non-solvent extraction technology.
THE RIGHT TIME FOR INDUSTRY GROWTH
The United Kingdom legalised medical cannabis in November 2018 and since then the industry has been growing steadily in the same way as other legalised countries.
The acquisition of 50% of DJT Plants in June 2019 secured a 50/50 deal with experienced UK cultivators who previously held Home Office licences to grow medical cannabis for GW Pharmaceuticals, providing a fast track into growing medical cannabis firstly for research and ultimately commercially.
In May 2021, DJT Plants Limited (Ananda’s currently 50% owned subsidiary) received a Home Office Schedule 1 licence to cultivate >0.2% THC cannabis for research purposes. That research is to grow 65 strains for use in large-scale research. Following receipt of this licence, Ananda agreed to acquire the remaining 50% of DJT Plants Limited for shares in Ananda, thereby bringing it fully in-house.
Ananda’s best in class horticultural/agronomic team of medical cannabis cultivators will be teaming up with world leading cannabis geneticist Dr Dedi Meiri and his team at the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology to drive analysis and understanding of the research undertaken.
Scalability through low capex and low opex production will match demand and maximise returns with the highest standards. Ananda’s business model places importance on a patient-led approach, listening to and meeting the needs of the patient to inform the development of its products and innovation.
Ananda is taking the unique opportunity to place itself at the leading edge of Europe’s cannabis supply and to provide the best quality, consistent cannabis flower and oils, at the highest standards, whilst creating shorter supply chains to the UK and European markets.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by Ananda Developments and published by Shares under a commercial agreement. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell the shares. The article originally appeared in Shares’ Spotlight report on 25 November 2021.
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