Medicinal cannabis distributor Health House International will look for expansion opportunities in Southeast Asia “sooner rather than later” while continuing to explore targets in Europe, its chairman has confirmed.

Fresh from announcing the acquisition of German operator CanPharma, David Wheeler said the Southeast Asia market needs “addressing”.

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He also identified Japan as a market of interest with its “highly regulated environment and good pharmacy logistics”.

Health House International chairman David Wheeler

Of immediate concern, however, will be bedding down the all-scrip acquisition of CanPharma, a deal that could see the German firm own more than 25% of Health House in 24 months based on the financial structure of the deal.

Wheeler told Cannabiz: “I always said that if you’re going to transact, the time to do it is when you’re public, and the way to do it is to use your paper, your scrip and preserve cash so that you can actually operate these businesses and grow them.

“CanPharma were attracted to that as well. But we haven’t given away the company. It’s a low-risk, high-reward transaction.”

Wheeler revealed that prior to opening talks with CanPharma, other German companies had expressed an interest in working with Health House, but conversations had not progressed.

“We were focused on achieving our own public listing and it was about a month after our prospectus closed [in February] that the CanPharma opportunity came along,” he said. “We just clicked. We shared the same vision for responsible business practices for a highly regulated product in regulated markets. And all of us had shared the journey through regulation to actually selling products.

“We also shared the view that the market will ultimately be a medicinal market where products will look more like medicines than perhaps they do at the moment.