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A British cannabis products maker known for selling its CBD oils on eBay, Amazon and in UK chemist Boots wants to make its products more accessible to Australians and plans to list on the ASX.
Dragonfly Biosciences is hoping to hit the local sharemarket at the start of August and has launched an initial public offer to raise up to $5 million through the sale of shares at 20¢ each.
Regan Saveall, CEO of Dragonfly Biosciences.Credit: Domenico Pugliese
The business co-founded by Radost Draganova, Chris Wronski and Mark Grenside first tried to list on the ASX at the end of 2021, when it was seeking to raise $10 million, but ended up pulling the float in the face of market volatility.
Dragonfly chief executive Regan Saveall says the time is now right for the company hit the ASX boards, saying its presence in Australia will serve as a beachhead into Asia.
“We see that as a really huge opportunity for Dragonfly, and the Asian market tends to look at Australia,” he said.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant and is the key ingredient in a variety of medicinal and wellness products including supplements, cosmetics and oils. Researchers are looking at CBD as a treatment for a range of conditions including chronic pain, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
Dragonfly Biosciences says some of the proceeds of its raise will go to TGA approvals processes to help bring more of its products to Australians. Credit: Domenico Pugliese
Dragonfly produces CBD oil drops, lip balms, moisturisers and face masks. Its products can be bought online widely in the United Kingdom, where the CBD products are legal provided they meet regulatory requirements.
The company also sells its oils into Australia through the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) “special access scheme”, which allows certain doctors to prescribe products such as CBD oils that have not been approved for inclusion in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
Dragonfly is hoping its portfolio of CBD products will one day be much more easily available in Australia. Recent regulatory changes have opened the door to cannabis products being more readily available.
In 2021, the TGA changed the scheduling of low-dose CBD products, paving the way for these to be available over-the-counter once they meet strict approval requirements.
Saveall said the clarity of regulation in Australia was attractive for the business, and the company hoped to get clearance to sell a broader range of its portfolio to Australians in the coming years.
“We’re looking to see that develop – you will get a wider range of consumable CBD products available in your pharmacy,” he said.
Dragonfly’s prospectus also reveals the business settled a lawsuit brought by co-founder Grenside, who is also a television producer, in 2022. The settlement, which involves completing instalments of a £200,000 ($380,000) payment to Grenside, is to be finalised within 28 days of the IPO.
Several other medicinal cannabis producers also call the ASX home, but the market has not been kind to the sector in recent times, as smaller biotech companies were sold off heavily during the market volatility of the past year.
Shares in Cann Group, which has a state-of-the-art cannabis growing facility in Mildura, have declined by 40 per cent year-to-date, while cannabis and psychedelics drug developer Emyria is down by 17.6 per cent this year.
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