Budding medicinal cannabis startup bags £1m seed round

Isle of Man cannabis startup Image credit: Grow Lab Organics

Investors have high expectations for a medicinal cannabis startup based on the Isle of Man, which has secured a £1m seed funding round.

Grow Lab Organics – founded by Alex Fray, Charlie Price, and Charlie Lyons – is researching and growing different strains of medicinal cannabis.

The budding startup is aiming to capitalise on a market that it says is limited in choice, despite the UK legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes back in November 2018.

In addition to growing its own products, the cannabis startup says it will partner with third parties and has developed proprietary IP to track products.

It has partnered with Cancard, an ID card for medical cannabis, to help get to market.

Part of the seed funding will help the cannabis startup grow its Isle of Man facility to contain 22 flower rooms measuring 200 square metres, and six drying rooms, capable of growing 20 different strains annually. It aims to become the first community-owned producer in Europe.

Carly Barton, founder of Cancard, said: “Since medicinal cannabis was legalised five years ago, patients have continued to struggle to obtain quality products through the legal market.

“Not only is the calibre often very hit and miss, there are also only a handful of strains to choose from; which don’t suit everyone.”

Saul Milton from Chase & Status and Mark Wilkinson were amongst those participating in the seed round.

“We are committed to enabling the medicinal cannabis community, who sit at the heart of what we do, to have a voice and share in the opportunity as we begin to build our facility,” said Alex Fray, CEO of Grow Lab Organics.

The company has also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, where it has so far raised £3.2m out of a £5m target. The crowdfund gives Grow Lab Organics a pre-money valuation of £24.5m.

Grow Lab Organics plan to use waste plant stalk for its packaging material. Barton will join as chief community officer to Grow Lab Organics’ board.