Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI) Chief Executive Officer Geremy Thomas caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the appointment of Sir Breckenridge, share price movement, GM resolutions, their George Botanicals investment and how Sativa Foundation plays a role in Sativa’s own growth.
Q1: Since we last spoke, they’ve been a number of announcements, firstly the appointment of Sir Alasdair Breckenridge to the advisory board. Breckenridge is obviously a highly respected pharmacologist, what will he be working on at Sativa Investments?
A1: Well, he has a lot of experience particularly when he chaired the MHRA, the Medical Health Regulator and we are entering a period of regulatory change and I think Sir Alasdair is going to be very useful for the Board of Sativa to navigate those new and uncertain waters.
Q2: A few days ago, you made an announcement regarding share price movement, what was behind the movement?
A2: I think it was the level of press comment on the cases of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, 2 young men who are suffering epileptic fits and had sought remedy from medicinal cannabis, brought that medicine into the country and in Billy’s case had that medicine taken away. He has currently revisited hospital and the Home Secretary took special steps to release his medicine which then was effective, and he was discharged.
Q3: Then came the General Meeting which came fairly hot off the back of the IPO itself. What were the main resolutions that we’re passed there?
A3: The one that’s of most interest to me is getting shareholders consent to widen our investment criteria, when we came to market, we were seen as the conduit to the Canadian market, medicinal cannabis in Canada has been legalised since 2001. Since we came to market, things have moved on, particularly here in the UK, so we felt it appropriate to seek shareholders’ approval to widen our investment brief so that we can make investments in any regulated market around the world including the UK.
Q4: It was also great to see the company conclude another investment, what is George Botanicals bringing to the portfolio?
A4: George Botanicals is a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of CBD products, it produces CBD oils, balms, vapes and sells at wholesale white label basis as well as retail via its website. It’s a very interesting market, the Cannabis Trades Association believe it will be worth over £60 million next year and George Botanicals is well placed to get a good market share.
Q5: Finally, yesterday we saw that Sativa Foundation is to fund academic research into medical cannabis. Clearly, the UK interest in medicinal cannabis is building, how will the Sativa Foundation play a role in Sativa’s own growth?
A5: Well, we intend to award grants to principally university-based research teams here in the UK looking into the specific applications of medicinal cannabis, looking at where there are gaps in the current research and plugging those gaps.
Commercially, we’ll sign commercialisation agreements with those research teams so that if there is anything to flow from that research then Sativa Investments and its shareholders benefit from that.
Also, in the short term, we will be making applications to the Home Office for growing licences to grow materials to support that research.
So, yes, it’s strategically, it’s valuable on a number of levels.