Snoop Dogg-backed medical cannabis company begins operations in London

Recording artist Snoop Dogg speaks on stage during day one of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 at Pier 70 on September 21, 2015 in San Francisco, California.,

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LONDON – Medicinal cannabinoid company Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT), backed by rapper Snoop Dogg and tobacco giant Imperial Brands, was launched on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

The UK company, which specializes in the development of cannabinoid-based pain relieving drugs, raised gross proceeds of £ 16.5million ($ 23.4million) in its initial public offering, with a value of initial trading of just over 48 million pounds ($ 69.1 million).

The share price hovered around 5p on Friday midday, after initially opening closer to 8p earlier in the session.

Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus Jr., has invested in several cannabis start-ups, including OCT through his venture capital firm Casa Verde. The company has also backed plant-based food companies like Outstanding Foods and tech names like Klarna, Robinhood, and Reddit.

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant and are commonly used medicinally to treat symptoms such as chronic pain.

OCT’s strategy is to develop cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals for the non-addictive treatment of pain. CEO John Lucas told CNBC on Friday that the company plans to use the proceeds from its IPO to develop four new drugs.

“The key here is to put cannabinoids in the hands of patients and the way you do it is the drug development process,” Lucas told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”.

“Medicinal cannabis, the problem with that is that doctors can’t prescribe it, so we want a drug product that we can put in the hands of the doctors, in the hands of the patients.

In its listing announcement, OCT said that “its primary market is the total addressable pain market, which is estimated to be worth at least £ 42.5 billion from the commercialization of the first drug produced by OCT, currently slated for release. 2027 “.

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