The founders and directors of cannabis play Zelda Therapeutics have committed to holding on to their shares as a show of faith in the company, as almost 30 per cent of the shares come out of escrow.

Escrow typically refers to shares that are held by founders, early investors or directors who are restricted from selling for a period of one to two years. Their release from escrow can have a big impact on a company’s share price.

Medicinal cannabis biotech Zelda (ASX:ZLD) has 224.4 million shares hitting the market on November 22, which makes up about 29 per cent of the company’s issued total.

But the medicinal cannabis developer today moved to reassure shareholders, saying directors and founders Harry Karelis, Dr Stewart Washer, Mara Gordon and Jason Peterson would not sell any shares they own or control for the next year — unless it helped on-board a significant investor.

“The commitment has been entered into by the founders to clearly demonstrate their true belief in the company’s future and business plan,” the ASX release stated.

Mr Karelis said a voluntary extension of the escrow period demonstrated the founders were in it for the long haul.

“Since founding the company in 2015, the Founders have worked hard to position Zelda at the forefront of the burgeoning global medicinal cannabis industry,” he said.

“We have established a number of collaborations with globally recognised institutions and commenced our clinical trial activities. We are excited by the potential for company transformational milestones being achieved over the next year.”

Recently, the company has done a pot pills deal with tech wreck 1-Page and looked at medicinal cannabis as a treatment for autism.

Dr Richard Hopkins, not a founder but the managing director, said the founders “are to be commended for their decision”.

Zelda Therapeutics shares (ASX:ZLD) over the past year.