Medicanja continues to push for an Initial Public Offer (IPO) which has been in the works for the past three years.
Dr Henry Lowe, who leads the medical ganja outfit, told Caribbean Business Report that the IPO should get off the ground this year but was not committed to giving a specific month. He admitted that his renewed interest in pushing forward with the IPO was influenced by Canadian medical cannabis company, Tree of Knowledge International Corp, which trades under the name TOKI, last month announcing it will be cross listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).
In fact TOKI will not just become the first company to be cross listed on the Jamaica and Canada Stock Exchanges but will also become the first medical cannabis company to be listed on the JSE. While still being interested in having the IPO this year, Dr Lowe admitted that some of the factors that caused the IPO to have been put on hold still persist even until today.
These include the hands-off approach of the banking sector in doing business with cannabis companies, citing de-risking concerns. Dr Lowe pointed to the millions of dollars spent by Medicanja in preparing for the IPO, only to have it scaled back because of fear by distributors and business partners that their banks would deem their businesses too risky given their association with a cannabis company.
According to the Medicanja CEO, “I am very very interested in going to market, in fact since this article came out I have had at least 14 persons called up…saying how you let the Canadians beat you to go to market in Jamaica.” He admitted that TOKI’s listing in Jamaica will have some implications for his company, confessing that the IPO plan was in cold storage.
Dr Lowe told Caribbean Business Report that the IPO plan is now being taken out of cold storage and is being put back on the front burner, as the company moves forward into exporting its cannabis based products developed over the past few years. Medicanja has developed 30 cannabis products, of which 12 have reportedly been approved by Ministry of Health, which can be exported.
He pointed to recent developments in the medical cannabis world and in Jamaica, in particular which cause the bank to be more business friendly regarding banking relationships with cannabis companies Lowe expressed the hope that businesses, such as the banks, which would have displayed paucity in doing business with his cannabis company and other like his would have now had a change of heart.