Releaf Group

Cannabis franchise Releaf Group has opened expressions of interest (EOI) to acquire its New Zealand franchise and launch services across the Tasman in 2023.

The NZ launch is being led by the firm’s chief of staff Anthony Lucic, with services planned to start next year via both a physical footprint and telehealth availability. 

He said: “We have the determination to invigorate New Zealand patient access to medicinal cannabis and life-changing medicines. The future… is very bright with huge growth potential in a maturing market.” 

Releaf said it decided to move towards a more integrated and localised approach in NZ, with the incoming master franchise partner having greater responsibility and control for service delivery. 

The firm added: “This will add to the momentum already evident in [our] growing patient numbers. With Releaf Group’s International College of Cannabinoid Medicine, [we] will look to expand clinicians’ knowledge base while growing access to the ever-growing medical sector.” 

A shortlist of applicants will be drawn up following an evaluation of responses to the EOI. The contract is expected to be awarded by January 2023.

Bod Australia

Bod Australia reported sales revenue of A$598,000 in Q1 FY23, down from $943,000 in the previous quarter and a fall of 65% from Q1 FY22.

The company said the shortfall from Q4 was split evenly between global partner Health & Happiness (H&H) and sales of its medicinal cannabis products.

Net cash used in operating activities was $1.7m.

Bod said H&H had a large sale in the previous three month period which was not repeated in Q1, while medicinal cannabis sales were impacted by a one-off sale of $98,000 in Q4 FY22.

“Further, the largest customer of the medical division rebottled some of its own inventory….which temporarily impacted sales,” the company added.

Bod said the sharp reduction in sales from Q1 FY22 was partly down to the collection of “significant overdue balances” last year.

While typically generating around $150,000 from medicinal cannabis sales each quarter, it collected $483,000 in Q1 FY22, Bod said.

Wellnex Life

Wellnex Life has boosted its coffers by almost A$6m via a capital raise and strategic investments.

Wellnex Life CEO George Karafotias

The ASX-listed firm is aiming to be one of the first to offer over-the-counter (Schedule 3) CBD products in Australia via a joint venture with OneLife Botanicals.

It also plans to launch its medicinal cannabis products under the Special Access Scheme before the end of the year.

Wellnex set out to raise $2m via a share purchase plan last month which, allowing for oversubscriptions, brought in $2.8m. The strategic investments included $3m from Homart Pharmaceuticals.

It will use the money to advance its S3 registration program, strengthen its manufacturing and product expertise, launch new brands and expand its export network.

MGC Pharmaceuticals

MGC Pharma’s processing upgrade of its Slovenian facility has been completed, increasing daily capacity by 200%, while an EU Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audit resulted in approval to re-commence output. Formal certification is expected next month.

A GMP audit of the firm’s new Maltese plant has “satisfied all key audit requirements”, and is expected to be formally ratified in early 2023.

Meanwhile, the firm’s supply and distribution agreement with Sciensus Rare has been expanded to include new European markets and Middle Eastern territories, increasing the potential market for its epilepsy treatment CannEpil and CogniCann, for dementia.

CEO Roby Zomer said: “MGC Pharma is extremely well placed to deliver its products across both the EU, and globally, to meet increasing demand.”

MediCann Health

MediCann Health’s capital raise via crowdfunding platform Birchal has closed, with the firm raising almost A$1.1m from 698 investors.

MediCann was looking to raise up to $3m in total.

A spokesperson said a substantial percentage of the funds will be used to expand its medicinal cannabis product range.

It also has the option of doing a further raise through Birchal in 2023.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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