The year 2023 stood as a turbulent period for the European cannabis industry due to factors such as two ongoing wars, energy and cost of living crisis, and negative sentiment towards cannabis investments. As a result, funding has been difficult for most companies, while stock prices have suffered a general decline throughout the year. However, some companies like Akanda and IM Cannabis have consolidated their share prices and increased their value during these testing times.
Furthermore, Europe’s remaining cannabis-focused ETFs either merged with other funds or disbanded due to lacking viability. This situation presents attractive opportunities for mergers and acquisitions at lower valuations, appealing more to institutional investors. This could be beneficial in the long run for the emerging European cannabis market.
Regulatory progress sparks hope for a better outlook in 2024
Despite the challenges faced by the European cannabis industry in 2023, there have also been positive regulatory changes in some of its largest markets. These developments raise hopes that the sector will experience a better outlook in 2024. Of particular note is Ukraine’s decision to legalize medical cannabis, which further opens up Eastern Europe as a key market for growth. In addition, Switzerland’s advanced adult-use framework for cannabis positions the country as a potential role model for broader legalization across the European continent.
Saudi Arabia approves MGC Pharmaceuticals’ ArtemiC
MGC Pharmaceuticals recently received approval from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority for ArtemiC – its COVID-19 treatment. Saudi Arabia has authorized the product to be sold as an over-the-counter dietary supplement, demonstrating MGC Pharmaceuticals’ commitment to innovation in both the pharmaceutical and cannabis sectors.
Before receiving Saudi Arabia’s approval, the Australian-based company completed Phase II clinical trials and European studies on ArtemiC. Although no commercial deals have been finalized yet within the region, this approval showcases the potential for further expansion into key markets. Earlier this year, MGC Pharmaceuticals also secured a $1 million purchase order from AMC Pharma for its ArtemiC product, and their collaboration aims to conduct clinical trials focusing on cannabis-based molecules.
Panaxia stock surges amidst proposed agreements
Meanwhile, Panaxia, the Israeli medical cannabis manufacturer, has seen an impressive increase in its stock price following proposals involving the transfer of its operations and shares between current shareholders and the Barak Group. As part of these arrangements, it is anticipated that Panaxia will end up selling its medical cannabis production facility.
This development indicates a significant change in the company’s trajectory, as they seemingly pivot away from manufacturing towards strategic partnerships instead. It speaks to the increasingly competitive landscape within the sector and reinforces the importance of adaptiveness for survival in these rapidly changing times.
A promising future for the European cannabis industry
While 2023 has presented numerous challenges for the emerging European cannabis sector, significant regulatory progress and entrepreneurial perseverance provide hope for a more positive outlook in the coming years. As key markets such as Ukraine and Switzerland continue to develop their cannabis frameworks, businesses within the industry must maintain focus on adaptiveness, financial management, and profitability if they are to navigate these turbulent waters successfully.
Moreover, upcoming regulatory changes hold the potential for increased investment, product innovation, and business expansion within this evolving space. As the European cannabis landscape continues to transform, both companies and investors who remain attentive to opportunities amidst adversity will be best positioned for success in the long term.