Sativa Group (NEX: SATI) CEO Geremy Thomas joins DirectorsTalk to comment on the statement made by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Geremy also explains the significance of appointing new broker Cenkos.
Sativa is a seed to Consumer medicinal cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) wellness business, focused on the smart-sourcing of the raw material, advanced extraction, manufacture, testing, distribution, and research & development of medicinal cannabis and CBD products. The Company has a Home Office licence application in process which, when granted as the Directors believe it will be as the application is in its final stages, will enable the Company to engage in the highly regulated process of growing, strictly for medicinal research & development purposes only, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) rich cannabis flowers at its high-security Somerset headquarters.
The Company joined the UK’s NEX market in March 2018 as the UK’s first medicinal cannabis investment vehicle and since then has capitalised on its first-mover advantage, developing a substantial UK bridgehead into what the Company believes will be a significant market in the future. Two UK operating subsidiaries, PhytoVista Laboratories and George Botanicals, are already well established and fully trading with healthy gross margins in independent CBD testing and CBD wholesale & retail respectively.
Phytovista has conducted over 1000 independent tests and George Botanicals develops, manufactures and distributes low-THC CBD wellness products. Other important future revenue streams are at various stages of development from concept to actual launch, with the first Goodbody CBD wellness centre opening in Bath on 28th June.
Prior to the Listing, Sativa’s founder and CEO, Geremy Thomas, spent 12 months researching the global medical cannabis and CBD industries at his own personal expense. He based himself in Canada, the most advanced country in terms of medicinal cannabis acceptance and regulation, travelling to America, Australia, the Far East, and Europe to connect with industry leaders and participants. The Company on Listing was therefore already internationally connected, and this has given it a head start within the UK industry for smart-sourcing and the adoption of advanced value-add techniques and models.
In May 2019 the Company obtained permission from NEX Exchange to reclassify itself as a trading company, having delivered on its original investment strategy. Benefits of this include widening the appeal of the equity opportunity to additional types of investors including institutions and family offices, many of which are precluded from investing in fund-type vehicles.
Sativa has a highly experienced Medical Advisory Board, Chaired by Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, a former Chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). He is joined by Dr Matthew Brown, an award-winning pain consultant at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Dr. Peter Fedlshreiber, a barrister and physician specialising in medical law, and Dr. Stuart Ungar, co-founder of the Doctors Laboratory and who researched biochemical neuropsychopharmacology at the Royal Free Hospital.
The Company has a strong senior management team and Board team including Joseph Colliver FCA as Chief Financial Officer and a Board Director, and Jonathan Wearing, a seasoned City corporate financier, as Chairman. Dr Nick Horniman, Director of Regulatory Affairs, has over thirty years of experience in the veterinary industry and he co-ordinates the Group’s ongoing relationships with regulators such as the Home Office, Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). He is also investigating the significant opportunities for medicinal cannabis and CBD products in the pet and equine markets. Chris Jones, a retail management professional who was instrumental in building the Phones 4U chain, leads the team developing the Goodbody wellness centres, which will offer customers a variety of high-quality CBD products.
Sativa’s smart-sourcing strategy enables it to define the crucial factors of seed strain, growing techniques and environment, along with extraction methods, all of which are imperative to the quality of the end-product. Phytovista Laboratories confirms the cannabinoid profile and quality of each batch on delivery to ensure that it is regulatorily compliant, is free of unwanted chemical elements, and is of proven origin. The commercial off-take agreements that the Company is entering in to will contribute to quality assurance, forecasted forward quantities of supply, consistency, and pre-determined pricing, rather than spot pricing.
The Group’s activities include the Sativa Foundation, which awards research grants to academic institutions in order to further research & development into the efficacy of the full spectrum of cannabinoids. In April 2019 the Company entered into a three-year research agreement with King’s College London to research the impact of cannabinoids on inflammation and respiratory diseases.
Sativa has invested in two Canadian-based businesses, pharmaceutical company Veritas Pharma Inc. and a Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc. Both of these provide Sativa with valuable know-how alongside their investment potential. The Company also has a 60% share of a joint venture with Germany’s Lexamed GmbH, providing a foothold into the German market.