Danish medical marijuana company to become Europe’s first cannabis IPO
By Alexis Grace
Sep 24, 2018
On Friday Danish medical marijuana company STENOCARE announced that they will go public, listing on the Spotlight Stock Market exchange under the ticker name STENO, provided that the upcoming new share issue meets various minimum requirements during the subscription period. The required amounts include a minimum subscription post of 400 shares and a minimum limit for the new share issue’s implementation of around DKK 11.1M. The subscription period begins Monday and goes until October 9 at a subscription price of DKK 8.80 per share.
As excitement hits a crescendo over the marijuana stock markets, investors are quickly learning that Canada and the United States aren’t the only countries with a growing cannabis industry. In fact, marijuana use has been mainstream in many areas of Europe for a long time, with Amsterdam as the classic example.
More and more regions are now implementing less strict marijuana regulations and recognizing the health benefits of medical cannabis Companies are emerging and expanding globally, and this growth can spur the need for more capital to continue fueling the industry’s development. No European-based company has approached raising capital in the form of going public, but now, this will change soon.
A medical cannabis company focused on pain management
STENOCARE was founded in 2017 as a medical cannabis company focused on pain management. Denmark is one of the only countries in Europe that has made cannabis production legal, so it might make sense that Denmark is leading the way for European cannabis companies to go public. Additionally, Denmark has a four-year program underway to allow physicians to prescribe medical cannabis.
STENOCARE is the first Danish company to be granted a license to export cannabis, so this sets them apart from other Danish marijuana companies. They have decided to go public to raise additional capital for additional production facilities and to cover operational costs.
During the announcement, CEO Thomas Skovlund stated that the funds “will be used exclusively to develop our ability to make a real difference in this new and important market.” Up to this point, STENOCARE has been importing products from Canadian producer CannTrust Holdings Inc (TSX:TRST)(OTCMKTS:CNTTF), which has been publically traded since August 2017.
A huge opportunity for cannabis in Europe
Research shows that there are huge opportunities for the marijuana industry in Europe, especially for medical use. Europe has a US$1.3 trillion budget for healthcare spending, so there is massive potential for market growth as medicinal marijuana and CBD oil are used more and more as alternatives for treatment. Certain projections show that with full legalization in Europe, annual sales would top 25 billion euros. For comparison, Canada had US$4.3 billion in sales while the U.S. had $7.97 billion in sales in 2017.
Additionally, consumption data in the Netherlands shows that European medical sales could reach at least 450 million euros per year by 2022. Although Denmark is taking big steps with lifting regulations, Germany is predicted to own the largest share in European cannabis market, with Italy coming in second. Germany legalized medical marijuana in 2017 and is expected to have $1.6B in sales by 2022. Italy is expected to sell US$1.2B by 2027.
Although Europe has a long way to full legalization, there is enormous growth potential if they experience similar regulatory shifts to the U.S. and Canada. As more European companies become publically traded, it will also provide stock market investors with opportunities for high investment returns.