Nov 24, 2022
Canopy founder Linton said to buy stake in Germany’s SynBiotic
We’re confident something will happen soon with U.S. pot legalization: Canopy Growth CEO
Bruce Linton, founder of the world’s biggest marijuana firm, has made a bet on the growth of the legal cannabis market in Germany.
Linton, the former chairman of Canopy Growth Corp., acquired a stake in Munich-based SynBiotic SE when it raised capital last month, the company said in a statement Thursday, confirming a report from Bloomberg News.
Linton will also become chairman of SynBiotic’s newly created advisory board and receive options to buy further shares as compensation for his role. Including these instruments, Linton could increase his interest in the company to 5 per cent.
“I see enormous potential in the European market, particularly in Germany because of the recently announced legalization in Europe’s largest economy,” Linton said in the statement.
SynBiotic, which is focused on medical and dietary cannabis, raised 2.5 million euros in a share sale last month. It will use the money to expand at a time when Europe is adopting a relaxed approach to recreational cannabis use. Shares of SynBiotic, which have fallen more than 50 per cent this year for a market value of almost 60 million euros, jumped as much as 7.9 per cent in German trading.
Just days before SynBiotic raised its funds, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government said it would permit adults to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for recreational use, fulfilling a promise to legalize weed.
The move will allow for controlled cultivation and distribution of cannabis as Europe’s biggest economy aims to curb the black market for the drug. It could create an US$80 billion market in the next two years, driven by Europe’s ageing population and rising demand for alternative treatments, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts wrote in a recent note.
Linton is one of the most recognizable cannabis executives. Having built Canopy into the world’s biggest marijuana firm, he was ousted in 2019 amid pressure from Constellation Brands Inc. to chart a path to profitability. Constellation, maker of Corona beer, is Canopy’s largest shareholder.
He went on to back a special purpose acquisition company that merged with Israeli lidar startup Innoviz Technologies Ltd. Linton is also chairman of Gage Cannabis Co.