CEO Scott Maguire: Cannaray prepares to lead the European cannabis market

By Murielle Gonzalez 12-Sep-2019

The London-based company has closed a £7.8 million funding round and acquired Therismos, the holder of licences to import, handle, and distribute controlled drugs across the EU

Cannaray CEO Scott Maguire

Cannaray, a British medical cannabis and CBD company, has closed a £7.8 million Series A funding round, and CEO Scott Maguire has announced plans to dominate the European industry.

"We look forward to working with our management team, board of directors and scientific advisory board to make Cannaray not only the leading European cannabis player but eventually one of the global leaders in research and development of improved cannabis therapies to make a positive impact on global human health," Maguire said.

Headquartered in London, Cannaray said the funding will pave the way to the launch of new CBD products backed by the latest generation of science and research. The company also announced the acquisition of Therismos Limited, a UK company with the licences to import, handle, and distribute controlled drugs in the UK and across the EU, including Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland.

Cannaray said the closing of this deal is fundamental to its strategy to lead the European medical cannabis market and that the acquisition makes it one of the largest revenue-generating European cannabis companies.

Medical cannabis market

Data from Grand View Research show that the global medical cannabis market is set to grow to over £60 billion by 2026. CBD, the consumer cannabis category, has also seen significant growth with market size predicted to hit £6.9 billion by 2028. Cannaray now claims the company is poised to capitalise on the growing recognition of the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis and consumer awareness of CBD.

With a team of Co-founders, Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board members, Cannaray believes it has the business components to lead the charge in this new, yet fast-evolving market. The business is preparing for Brexit and has already set up a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland.

In addition to the Series A funding, the company plans to raise additional capital to fund medical cannabis production and open up markets beyond the UK, beginning with Germany and Poland this year.

To date, the funding has come from private American and British investors, all direct contacts of the Cannaray team.

Growth strategy

Cannaray's team has expertise in IPOs, building companies through consolidation, life sciences, media, consumer and retail, all complimentary backgrounds to create tangible shareholder value in medical cannabis and retail CBD.

Cannaray CBD range is due to be available to consumers towards the end of the year and will be hitting retailers in Q1 of 2020

The company said it has an exclusive alliance with Newey Limited, an investor in Cannaray and the largest horticultural company in the UK. Newey is said to have four million square feet of greenhouse space.

As part of its growth strategy, Cannaray plans to develop growing facilities and a pharmaceutical research lab onsite that will be used to explore new cannabis-based medical formulations.

Cannaray is also applying for a cannabis cultivation licence to close the production and supply loop. If successful, the company would be the third such licence holder in the UK.

The company said it will be launching a premium CBD lifestyle brand later this year.

Management team

The Cannaray management team is led by CEO Scott Maguire, an American national who is a former healthcare and biotech investment banker. Maguire served as Chairman and CEO of a company he listed on NASDAQ and he also co-founded a start-up chain of dialysis clinics.

Cannaray's Executive Chairman is Clive Sharpe, an experienced chairman in non-executive director (NED) roles and former CEO positions across various food manufacturing sectors, in blue-chip corporates and private equity-backed businesses.

On the board as NED are Chris Sullivan, former Deputy Group CEO of RBS and Ex CEO Corporate Banking of Santander; Sir Nigel Knowles, former Global Co-Chairman of DLA Piper and now Chairman of DWF Group PLC, the largest global listed legal business; Michael Freedman, CEO of Alchemy Media and an entrepreneur in the US cannabis sector; and E. Stanton McLean, a former managing director of JP Morgan.

Scientific Advisory Board

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Cannaray said the company is engaging pain specialist Dr Benjamin Thomas; general neurologist Dr David Moorhouse; neurologist Dr Tom Jenkins; palliative medicine Dr Emily Collins; intensive care and anesthesiologist Dr Andrew Aswani; drug delivery scientific expert Dr Peter Laing; pharmacist Simon Tallett; and pharmaceutical distribution expert Richard Davey, placing science and patient care front and centre.