Fiji Kava to become the first kava listing on any global stock exchange
Health & Biotech
Root of the Piper methysticum plant used to produce Kava drink
Special report: Last November, we reported that kava could become the new cannabis – the latest hot stock based on naturally-derived ingredients.
Now, therapeutic goods company Fiji Kava is set to become the first kava company to list on any global exchange.
Kava is a numbing relaxant that comes from the ground root of the piper methysticum plant.
The plant’s active ingredient, kavalactones, has a number of medicinal benefits and has been recognised as a natural alternative to treat anxiety, insomnia, stress and muscle tension.
Many Australians know of it from their trips to Fiji but it recent years, kava has increasingly been found far away from its South Pacific origins.
A number of kava bars have opened across the US, offering stressed out city dwellers a more natural way to unwind, instead of reaching for alcohol or prescription medicines.
And with the benzodiazepine market currently valued at over USD$15B and use of drugs like Valium and Xanax at epidemic proportions, experts believe there is a significant market opportunity for kava as a plant-based alternative to opioids.
Dr Andrew Kelly, Chairman of Fiji Kava, says kava has the potential to be clinically-proven to be as effective with less serious side effects and susceptibility to addiction.
“Fiji Kava will be carrying out clinical trials on different strains of kavalactones to identify the strains that are most effective to treat different issues including anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation and muscle tension.”
Bringing kava to the ASX
Fiji Kava is now headed for the ASX and is set to become the first kava company to list on any global stock exchange.
Founder and CEO Zane Yoshida told Stockhead he intends to raise $5.2 million from investors at 20c per share before listing on the ASX in October with an indicative market capitalisation of $13.7 million.
Fiji Kava has range of competitively priced, high-quality medical kava products under the brand Taki Mai in Fiji via a network of retail distributors.
Its products use extracts from select kava varieties, specifically cultivated for their ability to provide relief for anxiety, stress, insomnia and muscle tension.
The products are tracked and traced from farm to shelf and are AUSTL approved in Australia, meaning they contain pre-approved low-risk ingredients and are reviewed for safety and quality.
The kava market is growing with global legislative changes supporting market growth and providing standardisation and regulation in the medical kava industry.
There is a Codex Alimentarius for the national standards for kava, plus a Kava Bill setting out regulations for the industry, which is is due to be passed in 2018.
The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety.
The consumer demand is there, a range of TGA and FDA compliant medical kava products are already in-market and generating sales in Australia and Globally.
As Fiji Kava is the only foreign company to be granted Fiji Government approval to operate in the kava industry, Mr Yoshida says the company is well-positioned to farm and regulate kava production for the global market.
“Kava’s natural remedial properties have been enjoyed by South Pacific Islanders for centuries. It’s no surprise that as the knowledge of its calming effects spread, more people are interested in trying it.”
This special report is brought to you by Fiji Kava.
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