Emerging and early-stage investing group FastForward (LSE:FFWD) says its portfolio company EMMAC Life Sciences has become the first European cannabis firm to be licensed to manufacture commercial pharma products using THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the drug.
EMMAC CEO Antonio Costanzo hailed the announcement as a “landmark” for his company, and “the realisation of our vision to create a vertically-integrated multinational operation”.
EMMAC says it has a number of medical cannabis products in development and production will begin immediately at its Medalchemy manufacturing plant at the Alicante Science Park in southern Spain.
Its focus now is on scaling exports to meet growing patient demand, Costanzo said.
FastForward has a 2.3% stake in the London-headquartered biotech. Shares in FFWD were flat in early Tuesday trading.
Last month EMMAC firm secured a license to sell medical cannabis products in Germany, Europe’s largest market. The pharmaceutical permits would allow it to “drive immediate revenue growth,” according to Costanzo.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of two natural compounds found in cannabis. It is what produces the ‘high’ sensation in consumers.
The other is cannabidiol, or CBD, which is used in oils, gels and extracts as a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory.
In a separate announcement FastForward announced a $1m investment in its portfolio company Yooma.
As part of the deal, chairman and CEO Lorne Abony departs the China-focused hemp and CBD lifestyle company. He is replaced by existing directors Ed McDermott as CEO and Ian Burns as non-exec chairman.
In 2018 FFWD turned in its first pre-tax profit since its 2014 IPO, pulling in £3.8 million with 2.87p earnings per share.