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Medical Cannabis sector comes of age with USD7.2bn acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals, says CBDX

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The decision by traditional pharma company JAZZ Pharmaceuticals to purchase GW Pharmaceuticals, the company behind the first FDA approved drug derived from cannabis, is a notable turning point for the medical and wellness cannabis market, according to the Medical Cannabis and Wellness UCITS ETF (CBDX).

CBDX, which expects to see further M&A activity in the market, was the first ETF to give access to the medical cannabis space in Europe and is the first to reach the USD50 million in AUM.

The fund provides access to companies active in the medical cannabis space that have been screened to ensure their legality for investment across Europe and the ETF can be bought in a single trade. 

Nawan Butt, Portfolio Manager of The Medical Cannabis and Wellness UCITS ETF, says: “GW Pharma is the global leader in developing and commercialising a cannabis derived drug platform which has achieved regulatory approval in multiple jurisdictions in Europe and North America. Their current products, derived directly from the cannabis plant, address a broad range of diseases including the treatment of seizures associates with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), Dravet Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), all of which are rare diseases characterised by severe early onset epilepsy. 

“In addition to their achievements with regulators, GW Pharma has a deep pipeline of cannabis-derived drugs as well as highly specialised manufacturing expertise combined with over two decades of pioneering cannabinoid science experience. The company’s first two products were rapidly scaled, achieving approximately USD510 million in annual sales within two years of launch.

“When GW Pharmaceuticals PLC started, most global pharma companies were hesitant to work with cannabis ignoring centuries of evidence there were some health benefits. As times are changing and attitudes adjusting, more and more companies are getting involved with the sector.  

“We are very proud to provide European investors with Europe’s first medical cannabis ETF, CBDX. It provides a legal and efficient way for investors to buy an index made of a representative group of medical cannabis companies in a single trade. CBDX is available in Euros, GBP, CHF & USD.”

The European listed Medical Cannabis ETF (CBDX), which was the first cannabis ETF to launch in Europe, has just completed its first-year anniversary listing on Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange in January 2020. It is also listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.  Since listing it has gathered over USD56million of assets.

A total of 14 per cent of the holdings in the Medical Cannabis and Wellness UCITS ETF was invested in GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, which contributed to the ETF rising 12.33 per cent on the day the acquisition was announced.   

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