IPO Watch: Althea reckons it’s getting into the cannabis growing business
Link copied to
Australia’s latest aspiring cannabis stock Althea is already importing products from Canada — though it’s yet to give details about how much or what it’s selling.
Althea last week launched a $19.7 million IPO offering shares ahead of an expected ASX listing on September 21.
In its prospectus, Althea says the first sales of five own-brand products in Australia took place in May.
They were sent over by its 25 per cent Canadian owner Aphria, in April.
Australia’s Office of Drug Control website shows that Althea is selling five types of cannabis oil and one dried flower product via Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals which is an authorised supplier.
Althea made $10,720 in revenue in the 15 months to June 30, 2018, the prospectus says.
The loss for the period totalled $1.8 million, largely due to $1.1 million spent on marketing.
Where that cash has been invested is not yet apparent. There is no sign yet of the patient access portal the company says it has developed and its one-page website doesn’t mention it.
First new pot stock since January
Althea will be the first medical cannabis IPO in Australia since Elixinol launched in early January, raising $20 million for a market cap of $102 million.
It has an import licence and a cultivation licence, which allows it to set up a growing facility (a separate permit is needed to start growing).
Canada’s Aphria, which is worth $3 billion, will retain a 25 per cent shareholding in the company when it lists.
The company was founded in 2017 and says it started selling five Althea-branded medical cannabis products in May this year.
It says it’s also developing an online access portal for both patients and doctors called Althea Concierge.
Althea currently has a licence effective from November this year to grow medical cannabis.
A cultivation licence allows companies to prepare a facility for growing medical cannabis. A permit is then needed to actually start growing.
The Office of Drug Control has issued 18 cultivation licences, 10 research licences and 13 manufacturing licences. These all need to be renewed every 12 months.
Althea plans to use over half of the IPO funds to build a three tonne/year growing facility in Victoria, where it already has a long-term lease and a contract with Powerplants Australia to start work on the site.
It anticipates eventually winning a manufacturing licence and being able to make its own versions of the Aphria products it is currently importing, using Aphria’s genetics.