Is decriminalization sufficient to market UK VC cannabis deals? – PitchBook News & Analysis

The UK legalized medical cannabis at 2018 however VC investment remains very low.

A week, London mayor Sadiq Khan declared he would launch a review to decriminalizing cannabis if he were reelected in May. Although quickly condemned by the united kingdom authorities, the movement speaks to a shift in public opinion that may place the nation on the road to legalization and spur a brand new tide of VC investment. 

Medical cannabis has been legal in the united kingdom because 2018, but several startups in the sector have successfully raised funding due to uncertainty over legislation. Last year only 11 UK deals earned about $35 million (roughly $42 million) in aggregate, based on PitchBook data. In larger markets where recreational use is lawful, the degree of VC investment is significantly higher.

“We are very bullish when it comes to investment in the united kingdom, but you will need law to proceed before cannabis businesses can really build a true base.”

Los Angeles-based Casa Verde is among the few companies that have spent in the united kingdom. Wadhera explained that investment in the UK’s cannabis sector is limited because mainstream VCs aren’t comfortable deploying capital to a market with such restrictive legislation and possibly waiting years until it will become legal. 

As stated by Juan Martinez, a leader at New York-based Step 8 Venture Partners, the issue is not always that VCs don’t wish to spend but they can not. 

“Most VC funds have Dr clauses in their mandates, which makes it very hard for us as shareholders , even in the US where it is still more prohibited,” he said. “Decriminalization is the first step to removing these obstacles. We can observe a lot of need, but there won’t be significant expansion until regulation varies .”

The demand for cannabis businesses in the united kingdom is already apparent on the people side. In Septemberthe Financial Conduct Authority declared that overseas and domestic medicinal cannabis businesses would be permitted to record on the London Stock Exchange. Ever since then, Israel’s Kanabo, which makes vaporized bud pods, went people, with shares tripling in their introduction. DB Ventures-backed Mobile Goods, a maker of skin care with cannabinoids, listed in February with need because of its IPO reportedly surpassing the price dimensions 13 times. 

The FCA’s decision was a massive win for the UK’s cannabis sector not only because it will allow businesses to access capital away from the private markets, but in addition, it gives a clear exit path for companies who do invest. 

The regulatory movement at the public markets and Sadiq Khan’s review are positive indicators that the UK is on the road to legalization, based on Wadhera, especially as authorities around the globe are looking for new sources of revenue following the pandemic. 

“Cannabis is a low-hanging berry , or plant in this circumstance, that could be leveraged for taxation,” he said. “I believe that it’s merely a matter of time before law catches up and enjoy in many businesses, London tends to be at the center of what is occurring in Europe. We definitely anticipate considerably more VC activity.”


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