The newly launched cannabis industry token, The CanCoin, is developing an entire ecosystem around the token in a bid to revolutionise the European cannabis market.
The legal European cannabis market is estimated to reach $70bn by 2025, but the emerging industry still faces barriers that are hindering its full potential, such as financial institutions’ reluctance to serve domestic companies, traceability, privacy and costly operations. To add to the problem, despite changing legislation at national levels, there remains a lack of a harmonised regulatory framework across the continent.
Launched by leading DeFi advisory group Technicorum Holdings, specialising in digital assets, European crowdfunding expert Daniel Daboczy, as well as David Bonnier and Amaury de Poret, co-founders and investment managers of Enexis AB, The CanCoin sets itself apart as an innovative solution with high potential for this nascent industry.
A FinTech solution
The CanCoin’s white paper details how it aims to penetrate the market by offering tools to companies across the cannabis value chain, including track and trace solutions, a decentralised payment network, crowdfunding capabilities, secure patient data, NFTs, and a rapid coin adoption strategy.
CEO Daniel Daboczy said: “The coin itself is one product and then we also aim to solve certain issues in the industry. We want a lot of people in the industry to use the coin. So, right now – the pound, the euro, the dollar, the yuan, they are vertical coins – one purpose fits all and some people benefit a lot, for instance, financial institutions and banks, and some private citizens do not benefit at all by using a certain currency over the other. What a lot of people think is that the currency system, which is from the 1600s, is a bit obsolete at this point. There are a lot of people in vertical coins – real estate coins for the real estate industry, influencer coins for the influencer industry, cannabis coins for the cannabis industry. So, that is what we are aiming towards, but, it is not only people in the cannabis business that can use it, it could be used by anybody, as any cryptocurrency can be. So, it can be used for purchasing, traceability, or speculation, for example.
“If you look at the US, Amazon gift cards are the preferred currency right now in a lot of purchases, which is absurd. Then, you cannot transport money between states in the US, you cannot bank the cash. Those are major, major issues for the industry. Why go through all the hassle when you can pay through a cryptocurrency. Right now you could use Bitcoin in theory, or whichever cryptocurrency you can use already, but there are some problems with that.
“We want to create an industry token, and then eventually a blockchain, which also adds traceability and trust to the system, thus, eventually, leading to legislation. Legislation can only happen if governmental bodies and the legislative bodies feel that they can trust this. They will never approve some kind of a grey-zone, libertarian type of thing, but a proper FinTech solution is welcomed by many people.”
Alongside the coin, the blockchain that will be developed will allow for transparent and trustworthy documentation of any item, smart contracts, and will enable the replacement of paper trails. Customers will also be able to check information on their products such as origin, third-party testing and expiration date, for example.
Backed by experts
The CanCoin is supported by leading experts in DeFi, cannabis, finance and funding. Singapore-based Technicorum Holdings is one of the world’s leading crypto advisors, and Daboczy has a strong background in the FinTech industry, having co-founded the international crowdfunding platform FundedByMe. Additionally, team members David Bonnier and Amaury de Poret are the co-founders and investment managers of Enexis AB, one of the first cannabis investment companies in Europe. It also has a group of “secret” advisors who offer their expertise in blockchain and pharma.
“Our secret advisors are people who are giving us advice, especially on the blockchain bill, and we have advisors who are from the pharmacy industry in the EU,” said Daboczy. “These people are already giving us advice on how the pharmacy industry is working, and we have some people who understand the cannabis industry is growing, and they also understand that the crypto industry is growing. But, they can’t put the names there because their employer might frown or, because not everybody understands that you don’t have to be a cannabis smoker to do FinTech for the industry.”
Tech, media and Pharma expert Scott de Maercado was recently appointed to The CanCoin Advisory Board, which includes crypto expert and advisor Malcolm Tan, and cannabis industry expert, Jonas Saeed. The CanCoin is also collaborating with Massfluencer, a data-driven marketing company, Cryptologicals, crypto and financial marketing and content specialists, and Transform Group, a globally leading blockchain communications company.
“Our team has got several successful startups, and my platform helped over 650 companies successfully get fundraising. We have learned what works and doesn’t work, and having a clean and clear path is important,” added Daboczy.
“We understand how to build a company, how to work with the political parties and the legislative bodies, and how to build good tech and make sure that you have a user base, those three elements are very important for these products.”
Creating an ecosystem
As well as crowdfunding capabilities, payment solutions, DNA storage and patient data, The CanCoin will be creating Augmented Reality NFT’s, allowing users to grow their own cannabis plants and earn CanCoin.
Daboczy said: “The NFT industry truly exploded earlier this year, and it has mainly been artists, musicians and filmmakers who realised that Corona hit them really hard. My background is also in the art scene, I was curator for many years and I’ve done many successful exhibitions. NFT’s are basically an emancipator for the creative industry to do several things – to bypass gatekeepers, and to create different packaging solutions, for example.
“Right now, an artist has to sell a finished product, or a finished song or a finished art piece, decided by somebody else who can sell it. I would want to package an idea. So, our NFTs will serve several purposes – to engage people to see other values than just a coin and the other, which is very important, is gamification. Users will be able to work for our purposes – we give you certain tasks to fulfill, and we pay you coins once you reach them. It becomes almost like a simple app game, but with a purpose to engage. We want to add the gamified element to the art element.”
Revolutionising the industry
Daboczy says The CanCoin aims to become a central bank for the European Cannabis industry, and believes that the project has the scalability to succeed.
“We want to get to a point where the banks are allowing cash deposits or transactions in this field, which is currently a minefield. As soon as you change banks or you go from a major city to a smaller city – if you are working country by country or in a cross-border transaction, it is almost impossible to bank in this industry. Not everybody has good fortune with their banking system.
“So, we want to use the banking system, as much as possible. At the end of the day, if we do this correctly and if we succeed according to our ambitions and plans, we will become a central bank for this industry. We will have the tools, we will have the currency, we will have the technology, and we will have the establishment – that is our aim.
“The blockchain is one of the best inventions of the last decade. A blockchain has a purpose to show traceability. The first simplest traceability is patient traceability. The legislative bodies cannot legalise something that is not traceable. We believe that adding certain elements of traceability will add to the usage. Do I believe that the blockchain will solve any and every issue of the cannabis industry, most likely not. Will everybody be on this blockchain, most likely not. Not in the next years, but eventually, everybody’s got to be on it – I’m comparing crypto to the internet in 1996. Not everybody could grasp what it could become, or what it would become in 25 years.
“This is the same issue that we have here. Eventually, industry will catch up and eventually the tools established or demanded by the government bodies will be used. I think somebody has to do it right and I think we have the right background to do a proper and solid attempt. It’s all about doing it differently, better and a lot more scalable. A lot of the medical industry is digitalised or partially digitalised. The blockchain is even more advanced than the solutions we have in Sweden or the UK at this point.
“The blockchain industry is growing extremely fast and over the next 10 years is going to be atomic. It is the same with the legal cannabis industry and also the entire cannabis industry globally in the next seven years, major leaps will happen.”
The CanCoin is currently in the presale period with 22 August expected as the minting date. It is expected to list on a number of decentralised exchanges, starting with KingSwap, and will potentially list on at least one centralised exchange at the end of October.
Daboczy says The CanCoin may eventually be tethered to the Euro or the US dollar, as not everybody in the industry will want to use a volatile currency. The CanCoin will be making offerings and holding gamified events until the coin is listed, which Daboczy says will be at around 17 cent per coin.
Roundup of Q1 2022 financial results in the UK medical cannabis space
Companies across the cannabis industry announce financial results for the first quarter of 2022, Cannabis Wealth rounds up the results of six major firms expanding within the UK medical cannabis space.
2021 was a positive year for cannabis businesses with 165 per cent year-over-year growth in cannabis equity capital raises and a series of high profile mergers and acquisitions. Compared to 2020, which was characterised by plunging investment and struggling businesses, the future of the UK industry is looking bright. With the first quarter of 2022 coming to a close on 31 March, companies are now releasing financial results from the first three months of the year.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals reveals financial results one year after GW Pharmaceuticals acquisition
In February 2021, Dublin-based firm Jazz Pharmaceuticals announced its acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals, developer of the UK’s only licensed cannabis-based medicines, Sativex and Epidiolex.
In its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, the firm reported that its net product sales of Epidiolex increased by 6 per cent to $157.9 million in 1Q22 compared to the same period in 2021, on a proforma basis.
Epidiolex is now commercially available and fully reimbursed in four European markets: United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain, with an anticipated launch in France in 2022. The company said it has made “significant progress” on its European rollout with launches in Spain, Italy and Switzerland in the third quarter of 2021 and Ireland and Norway in the first quarter of 2022.
The Company expects to initiate a Phase 3 pivotal trial of Epidiolex for Epilepsy with Myoclonic-Atonic Seizures (EMAS), the fourth target indication for Epidiolex, in the first half of 2022.
Khiron Life Science achieves 240 per cent sales volume growth in the UK
Toronto-based international medical cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences has reported a sales volume growth of 240 per cent in the UK market in Q1 2022 compared to the entire year of 2021.
In late 2021, Khiron opened its first European Zerenia Medical Cannabis Clinics in the UK, offering telemedicine service to patients around the country, and contributing to the company’s patient acquisition and retention growth.
“[Our] KHIRON 20/1 THC-predominant strain is one of the best-selling medically prescribed products in the UK market,” Franziska Katterbach, President of Khiron Europe, said. “In Q1 2022, we expect to surpass our first 1 million CAD in revenues in the UK, and as we expand our portfolio, and increase our patient base, Khiron will consolidate its market leadership within the country.
“In 2021, Europe accounted for 33 per cent of Khiron’s medical cannabis revenues, at more than 1.5 million CAD. In Q1 2022 and beyond, Europe will represent over 50 per cent of Khiron’s cannabis revenues.”
MGC Pharma selling cannabis-based epilepsy drug into the UK through new distribution agreement
Australian firm MGC Pharmaceuticals reported sales of $625k in the first quarter of 2022 The majority of sales came from the Australian market, but the company said it is making further inroads into the European market.
In its March 2022 quarterly financial results, MGC Pharma highlighted a new strategic EU and UK distribution agreement for its epilepsy medication CannEpil and Dementia treatment CogniCann. The agreement was signed with “at home” medicine supplier, Sciencus Rare and will initially focus on four EU countries and the UK. An additional distribution partner, PCCA, will assist in selling Cann Epil into the UK.
In the report, MGC said it is “confident that these new European partners, along with a substantial presence in both Ireland and Australia, will contribute significantly to the MGC phytocannabinoid revenue stream for the remainder of 2022 and beyond”.
Following its listing on the London Stock Exchange in February 2021, MGC Pharma last month appointed London based CFO, Angela-Marie Graham. The appointment is part of its business strategy to establish a corporate office in the UK to support its European operations.
Aurora reports increased revenue in the UK market amidst net loss of $1 billion
Canada-based international cannabis company, Aurora Cannabis reported net revenue of $50.4 million in the period ending 31 March, down 17% sequentially but up 8 per cent compared to the prior year period.
Aurora said its international medical revenue hit $14.6 million, up 55 per cent year over year but down 26 per cent sequentially. The company is currently selling medical cannabis products in seven EU countries: Germany, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, UK, Denmark and France.
The company stated that this decrease was due to the previous quarter including $8.5 million in net sales to Israel as part of a supply agreement. Excluding the Israeli market, its net international medical sales increased sequentially by 29 per cent, driven by markets including the UK, Germany and Poland.
In the UK, Aurora’s revenues increased by 60 per cent compared to last year’s first quarter. The company said “growth was driven by a rapid increase in patient numbers as more evidence has come out and more physicians prescribe cannabis”.
Despite growth in Europe, the firm reported a net loss of more than $1 billion, up by more than $160 million in the same quarter last year. It said the loss was primarily a result of increased pricing pressures and the continued impact of Covid-19. The company announced yesterday that it would be closing its Aurora Sky facility in Edmonton, Canada where it employs 13 per cent of its workforce.
Curaleaf sees small dip in revenue compared to Q4 2021 but celebrates year-on-year growth of 20 per cent
Curaleaf International, one of Europe’s major vertically integrated cannabis companies, reported a 2 per cent dip in revenue compared to the previous quarter but has seen a year on year growth of 20 per cent. Curaleaf produces two ranges of medical cannabis flower for patients in the UK.
Highlights from its first quarter of 2022 include the addition of 11 new retail dispensaries in the US, bringing its total number of locations to 1128, the acquisition of Arizona-based cannabis operator Bloom Dispensaries and the launch of a new product in Florida.
Following its entry into New Jersey’s recently legalised recreational cannabis market, Boris Jordan, Executive Chairman, said Curaleaf’s month-over-month growth from March has boosted confidence in its ability to hit full year revenue guidance of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion.
“Given renewed optimism surrounding federal banking reform, a record-breaking 4/20, the exciting launch last month of New Jersey adult-use sales, and the prospect of New York following suit, 2022 is shaping up to be another milestone year,” Jordan said.
STENOCARE expands into the UK market: financial results indicate “a strong start for 2022”
Following its recent expansion into the UK medical cannabis market in February 2022, Danish producer of medical cannabis products STENOCARE reported that its net sales more than doubled compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.
In March, the company had three of its medical cannabis oil products approved for use in the UK. STENOCARE said it considers the current timing to be good given that industry analysts have projected that the UK will become one of Europe’s largest markets in five years. Delivery of the first products to the UK market is expected in the second quarter of 2022.
By the end of the year, the company said its expected sales run rate is set at 15 to 20 million DKK (approximately £1.7 to £2.3 million), up from total sales in 2021 of 1.9 million DKK. The majority of the uptake in sales is expected to materialise in Q3 and Q4 2022.
Expanding the full digitisation of COAs in the cannabis supply chain
Lucid Green has announced three new partnerships to support the digitisation of certificates of analysis (COA).
Lucid Green has partnered with with CannaSafe, Cannalysis, and LabLynx to bring COA digitisation to over 400 labs across the US.
The intelligent UPC platform, Lucid Green has entered into partnerships with the cannabis testing labs and lab information systems (LIMS), building on its existing partnerships with Confident Cannabis and Sonoma Lab Works.
A digital COA reveals much more information to the consumer and brands gain more insight into how their products are being consumed, enabling them to modify offerings to best suit the needs of their consumers.
Co-founder and CEO of Lucid Green, Larry Levy, commented: “Lucid Green is committed to increasing trust and transparency at every point of the cannabis supply chain and with consumers.
“By expanding our partnerships with cannabis testing lab systems, we are cutting time and money inefficiencies, while ultimately giving consumers additional information to allow them to have a better cannabis experience.
“This industry is not growing because stoners are smoking more weed. It’s growing because your spouse, neighbour, parents are beginning to see the benefits of using cannabis and want more information to feel confident about and inform their experience.”
Digital COAs that reflect full lab test results, including terpenes and cannabinoids, do not currently exist in the industry. As a result, point-of-sale, online menuing and ecommerce platforms are only receiving basic information that’s captured as part of the track and trace system.
This limited data set reinforces the current purchasing behaviour which is fixated on THC levels and basic classifications like Sativa, Indica or hybrid.
Lucid Green is also modernising the cannabis industry with LucidIDs – QR codes that make the cannabis supply chain more efficient by allowing for true truck-to-shelf inventory intake, reducing manual labor and human errors and eliminating data cleanliness issues.
Curaleaf appoints Matt Darin as new CEO
Curaleaf’s current CEO Joe Bayern will launch and run a new division of Curaleaf.
International provider of consumer cannabis products, Curaleaf has appointed Matt Darin as Chief Executive Officer as exiting CEO Joe Bayern prepares to launch and run a new division of Curaleaf.
Curaleaf has announced that Matt Darin has stepped into the role of Chief Executive Officer at the international cannabis company, effective yesterday (9 May). As a founder of the Chicago-based cannabis company Grassroots, Darin was a first entrant in some of the United States’ key cannabis markets, including Illinois and Pennsylvania. Since joining Curaleaf in July 2020, he led the central US region which the company said is its largest region by footprint and revenue. In 2021 he added the southeast region to his responsibilities, helping increase Curaleaf’s market share by 55%.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the company’s quarterly earnings call, during which Curaleaf reported first quarter revenue with year-over-year revenue growth of 20% to $313 million, and year-over-year adjusted EBITDA growth of 16% to $73 million with operating cash flow of $57 million.
“I firmly believe we are building the best team in cannabis and I’m energized and humbled to lead Curaleaf at this pivotal moment,” Darin said in a statement. “We’ve built the foundation to continue to be the industry leader for the long term with a focus on operational excellence in every aspect of our business. We are leveraging the power of our 131 highly productive dispensaries and the accelerating distribution of our brands in 2,200 wholesale accounts throughout the U.S. I’m grateful to the board for their confidence in me as we move to the next phase of our journey.”
Curaleaf’s current CEO Joe Bayern will launch and run a new division of Curaleaf developing a new consumer packaged goods (CPG) based business model while working closely with Darin during the transition period through the second quarter. Executive Charman Boris Jordan said the company is “incredibly grateful” for Bayern’s tenure as CEO stating that he brought the firm into a “new way of working and thinking strategically as a CPG company”.
“I’m thrilled to begin this new chapter with Curaleaf,” Bayern said. “Working with this team has been an amazing ride and we’re just getting started. I’m deeply grateful to Boris, Joe Lusardi, the board, and every team member at Curaleaf; I am proud of what we’ve built together, and I know that our new venture will be another strong asset in Curaleaf’s undisputed leadership of our exciting industry.”
Boris Jordan added: “This move positions us well on several fronts; we will benefit from Matt’s proven track record of building winning teams and cannabis industry experience, and Joe Bayern’s extensive experience driving CPG strategy to launch our new division. I have the utmost confidence that this change is the natural next step in Curaleaf’s journey as the leading global cannabis company serving both the adult use and health and wellness markets. In fact, we’ve never been more bullish about our future.”
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