North American cannabis investment firm Ela Capital has made its first foray into Australia, taking a nearly 9% stake in ASX-listed healthcare technology company Lifespot Health.
The move comes after a rights issue shortfall saw Ela snap up 11,329,573 Lifespot shares (around 8.6% of the company) at an issue price of seven cents, raising $793,070.
Ela is an investment and advisory firm that provides capital and services to companies in the cannabis medical devices and life science industries, with more than 10 holdings globally.
Ela’s involvement will be both financial and advisory, offering opportunities for Lifespot to enter lucrative markets in North America and Europe.
Lifespot CEO Matthew Golden told Cannabiz the move is a sign of increasing interest in Australia from North America.
He said: “The American market is starting to look at what other markets can offer and Australia is different because it’s a medical market.”
Golden said despite several US states liberalising laws around recreational use, most will focus on medicinal cannabis going forward.
He said while younger, mostly male, users in the US are looking to get high, “the larger portion of the population are more mature, medically focused patients using cannabis to treat a condition. For them, getting high is a negative and they are willing to spend more money for a quality product.”
Golden said that will open up more opportunities for Australian companies which are heavily regulated at home.
“US funds are seeing the value of medically validated products [available in Australia],” he added.
Lifespot is planning extensive clinical trials this year to meet the TGA safety and efficacy standards required for medical registration of its combined medical inhaler/cannabinoid e-liquid products.