LONDON, July 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
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Imaginebeing able to take a few million dollars in start-up capital and turn it into $193 million in just 6 months. Well, that's what a small Canadian investment company is about to do. And in the process, it's made a big success
The company is Scythian Biosciences Corp. (SCYB.V; SCCYF), a Toronto-based investment firm building a global cannabis network.
Unlike most investment companies in the medical cannabis market, Scythian Biosciences set out to quickly forge strategic alliances with research teams, governmental entities and producers in key markets overseas.
The big players now interested
This foresight and planning appear to be paying off in spades - and is attracting a lot of attention. In July, Aphria, the third largest cannabis producer in the world, with a market cap of $3 billion, announced its intention to purchase several of Scythian Biosciences' acquisition targets for $193 million. Understandably, people are impressed.
In one fell swoop, Aphria will acquire control of a Colombian medical cannabis producer owned by Scythian Biosciences, an Argentine pharmaceutical import and distribution company and a Jamaican company with licenses to cultivate and conditional licenses to process, sell and provide therapeutic or spa services using cannabis products in Jamaica.
As for Scythian Biosciences, this single sale represents more than twice the market of the entire company!
Forging strategic partnerships
The recently announced sale to Aphria reflects what appears to be Scythian Biosciences' business model: to combine ground-breaking R&D programs with strategic partnerships all over the world. Its global 'first mover approach' allows the company to develop the infrastructure and on-site services required to support and grow an industry.
A specialist in emerging markets, Scythian Biosciences enters territories with untapped opportunities during the earliest stages of a domestic industry, acquiring the necessary licenses and infrastructure for rapid expansion.
An enviable portfolio of licenses and deals
In the process, Scythian Biosciences (SCYB.V; SCCYF) is in the process of acquiring an enviable portfolio of licenses and partnership deals with market leaders in Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and the Caribbean. It also has deals in the works in the UK and Ireland, Portugal and Macedonia.
For example, Scythian Biosciences partnered with the University of Miami and its neuroscientific team to conduct pre-clinical and clinical trials of its cannabinoid-based combination drug therapy for concussion.
At the same time, the company arranged with the Argentine distribution firm APB to provide research teams in Argentina with high-quality CBD oil for a clinical study on treating epilepsy in children. This innovative, multi-faceted approach revealed to the major cannabis producers that Scythian Biosciences could open doors to international markets and broker deals in countries with restrictions in imports of cannabis products.
For example, Aphria, equipped with a vast network of expert cannabis cultivators and industrial-scale production facilities, is uniquely qualified to build upon the infrastructure and licenses that Scythian Biosciences' acquisition targets were able to achieve in the Latin American and Caribbean markets.
The rapidly expanding global market for medical cannabis
While recreational use of cannabis is legal in nine U.S. states and soon in Canada, the legal picture outside of North America is more complex. Though cannabis use is widely tolerated in many European countries, the laws regarding importation and distribution, even of medical products, are strict and vary from country to county.
For this reason, most analysts agree that overseas markets will follow the same pattern as in North America with initial sales geared primarily to the medical cannabis market.
A legal cannabis market seeing 1,000% growth
And it's a market that could see the same explosive growth as in North America. Much of that growth could be in Europe where Scythian Biosciences ( SCYB.V; SCCYF ) already has significant partnerships in what is, in effect, virgin territory.
With twice as many citizens as the United States and Canada combined, Europe could become the world's largest legal cannabis market over the next five years, according to a new report.
The London-based advisory group Prohibition Partners suggests in its recent analysis that 12% of the continent's 739 million people are 'intensive' cannabis consumers.
In the short-term, that would translate into a medical marijuana market that could hit $42.8 billion and a potential recreational market worth $24 billion. Plus, according to a new analysis by the European investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co., the legal cannabis market worldwide is poised for growth of more than 1,000% over the next decade -- and could reach $140 billion dollars by 2027.
Identifying and Profiting from Early Stage Opportunities
Scythian Biosciences (SCYB.V; SCCYF) appears to be uniquely positioned, along with its bigger partners, to capitalize on this relatively untapped market.
The substantial liquidity provided by the Aphria sale will enable Scythian Biosciences to identify many more early-stage opportunities in the rapidly expanding global cannabis market. And backed by established conglomerates such as Aphria -- with commercial greenhouse capabilities and pharmaceutical quality standards - Scythian Biosciences could play a key role in meeting the growing global demand for research-backed cannabis treatments.
Management team uniquely qualified for expansion
The company certainly has the necessary brain power. Scythian Biosciences' (SCYB.V; SCCYF) chief medical officer is Professor Michael Barnes, M.D., a clinical neurologist and a renowned advocate for research into the medical use of cannabis to treat disease.
Past president of the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine Professor, Barnes was the first doctor licensed to treat certain types of childhood ailments with cannabis-based prescriptions. In addition, Barnes has been engaged by the British government to help administer its program for the use of medical cannabis in the UK.
Scythian Biosciences CEO Rob Reid, who was the founder of research think tank Prohibition Partners in the UK, is also uniquely qualified to expand the market for legal medical cannabis products in Europe and Latin America. For one, he helped organize the very first cannabis investment show in Europe, called Cannabis Europa.
Reid is also a partner of European Cannabis Holdings, a private investment firm focused on building out ancillary assets across the region. He has also served as managing director at Advertising M&A, a global M&A consultancy for the digital and creative sectors.
And Scythian Biosciences' chief science officer is Maghsoud Dariani, a founding team member and Vice President of the Celgene Corporation, responsible for Celgene's manufacturing strategy and chiral pharmaceutical Business.
Before joining Celgene, Dariani was CEO of Semorex Cancer Therapy and president of Focus Pharmaceuticals
A unique opportunity for rapid growth
Thus, Scythian Biosciences (SCYB.V; SCCYF) represents a unique opportunity for a chance in the global medical marijuana market. In effect, the company is leveraging its research know-how, contacts and 'boots on the ground' knowledge of local markets to develop properties for sale to the big producers. Other companies joining the marijuana race: 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSEMKT:XXII): A biotechnology company that that develops, markets and licenses genetically modified cannabis, marijuana and hemp. As the green rush picks up pace, there will undoubtedly be growth in this market and large gains for those who find themselves at the front. Intec Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ:NTEC): Intec is an Israeli based pharmaceutical company that earlier this year announced an early-stage study testing its painkiller made of natural CBD and THC extracts. This kind of marijuana-based painkiller will become increasingly popular as full-scale legalization takes place, and as one of the first movers in the space Intec is undoubtedly one to watch. The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. (OTCPK:SPRWF) (TSX-V:FIRE) : Supreme Cannabis is engaged in production and sale of medical marijuana. The company is a cultivator and distributor of sun-grown cannabis through its wholly-owned subsidiary 7ACRES. Aphria Inc (OTCQB:APHQF) (TSX:APH): Aphria Inc is engaged in the production and selling of medicinal marijuana, and while the stock has trended downward since April, the constant profits here suggest there is a lot of upside. OrganiGram Holdings. (OTCQB:OGRMF) (TSX-V:OGI): Organigram Inc. is a licensed medical marijuana producer in Canada, while it managed to maintain its production license this year, the company saw its stock price fall somewhat Year-To-Date, but there could be strong upside for this stock as the changing Canadian cannabis legislation could give a massive boost to the market. By. Charles Kennedy **IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Notice for Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements and are prospective in nature. Forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts, but rather on current expectations and projections about future events, and are therefore subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking information includes information relating to Scythian's proposed acquisition of Marigold, MMJ Colombia, ABP and ColCanna; the expected sale of these companies to Aphria and resulting receipt of $193M from Aphria; that cannabis use and sales will grow as predicted; Scythian's intended acquisition of a Brazil company and potential sale to Aphria; its plans to incubate projects in various locations throughout the world; that Scythian could play a key role in meeting the growing global demand for research-backed cannabis treatments and that it's traumatic brain injury solutions will be accepted by medical practitioners.
Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results or events are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Such risks and uncertainties include, among other things: that a regulatory approval that may be required for the intended acquisitions and subsequent sale are not obtained or are obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; that a condition to the completion of the intended acquisitions or sale may not be satisfied; construction delays and costs overruns; potential future competition in the markets Scythian operates; that Scythian's technology may not achieve the expected results and its accomplishments may be limited; that Scythian may not establish a market for its services as expected; competitors may quickly enter the industry; general economic conditions in the US, Canada and globally; the inability to secure financing necessary to carry out its business plans; competition for, among other things, capital and skilled personnel; the possibility that government policies or laws may change; technological change may result in Scythian's solutions not be the best or cheapest available; Scythian not adequately protecting its intellectual property; interruption or failure of information technology systems; the cannabis market may not grow as expected; Scythian's technology may not achieve the expected results and its accomplishments may be limited; Scythian's business plan also carries risk, including its ability to comply with all applicable governmental regulations in a highly regulated business; investing in target companies or projects which have limited or no operating history and are engaged in activities currently considered illegal under US federal laws; changes in laws; and regulatory risks relating to Scythian's business, financings and strategic acquisitions.
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