Charlotte’s Web founders the Stanley Brothers have launched a Birchal crowdfunding campaign as they look to build an “army of advocates” to lobby for regulatory reform in Australia.

The firm is collaborating with FoliuMed to initially offer three medicines via the Special Access Scheme, with a broader product range to follow.

FoliuMed, which conducts manufacturing and R&D in Germany and cultivation in South America, revealed last July it had teamed up with the brothers to launch their new venture in Australia.

Jesse Stanley

The decision to crowdfund was inspired by the brothers’ previous experience with Charlotte’s Web in the US, according to co-founder Jesse Stanley.

“Building an army of advocates is how we established Charlotte’s Web more than 10 years ago, and it was this army that mobilised to create a seismic change in the world,” he said. 

“Crowdfunding in Australia has the same impact – it builds a community of passionate believers who will help us pave the way for more sensible regulation.”

Stanley said the money raised will be used for prescriber and patient education “so they can make more informed decisions about their wellness”.

He added: “We will also put money towards product development so a wider range of products can be introduced to Australia – treating a range of conditions that have shown real promise overseas already.”

Expressions of interest are open until the end of April with a webinar scheduled for April 24 to explain the business model to interested parties. According to its prospectus, the company is hoping to raise a maximum of A$3 million. 

The Stanley Brothers were instrumental in exploring the benefits of CBD and other non-THC cannabinoids before launching Charlotte’s Web, a medicine inspired by Charlotte Figi, who suffered with catastrophic epilepsy.

The seven brothers have chosen Australia to be the first market outside of the US to launch their new company. 

“Crowdfunding in Australia… builds a community of passionate believers who will help us pave the way for more sensible regulation.”

jesse stanley

Stanley said: “For nearly 10 years, Australians have been able to legally access medical cannabis. While getting a prescription is easy, selecting among hundreds of products is becoming a major challenge, even for the most experienced doctors and patients. 

“A trusted brand is needed to cut through the clutter.” 

FoliuMed founder and CEO Oliver Zugel added: “Australia remains for us, together with Brazil, one of the most exciting opportunities we see in the near term.

“With solid regulations, a highly developed telehealth channel and a still comparatively low penetration rate, we see major growth ahead for a strong brand able to activate users beyond the current small base of early adopters and cannabis enthusiasts.”

Meanwhile, Stanley Brothers has signed a deal with Vitura to distribute its products via the CanView platform, covering 70% of pharmacies, while also inking “over a dozen commercial agreements with the largest clinics and prescribers”.

It said initial sales of its three flower products have exceeded expectations with vapes, oils and edibles to follow shortly.

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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