British sporting celebrities from both football and rugby are investing in cannabis. Footballing superstar David Beckham bagged a tasty £4.5 million paper profit last week from his investment in cannabis company Cellular Goods after it made an impressive start to life as a public company.
Beckham, who acquired a 5% stake in the company at 1p-a-share for a total investment of just £250,000. By the end of the company’s first day of stock market trading last Friday, the shares were trading at 19p. The 280% growth in the Cellular Goods share price saw the value of Beckham’s stake hit £4.75 million.
The company itself, which still only employs 8 people full time and doesn’t even have an office, is now worth around £100 million. The company’s business is importing cannabinoids grown in labs in California which are then used to make CBD-infused face masks and roll-on sports gels. However, it hasn’t actually yet started operations and its products are not expected to be available until the autumn.
Cellular doesn’t even have its own manufacturing facilities, with production to be outsourced to a Somerset-based company with Cellular only directly responsible for branding and marketing of the products.
The use of synthetic cannabinoids which contain absolutely no THC, the active component in cannabis associated with the drug’s high, allows Cellular to avoid the kind of regulatory issues it would otherwise have faced with cannabis-based products. A quality also reportedly key to attracting Beckham as an investor.
And rugby also has its stars active in legal cannabis investment. When a group of business leaders and cross-party politicians recently published a letter urging the government to appoint a “cannabis tsar” to lead reforms designed to help the UK become Europe’s leader in the medical cannabis industry it was signed by international rugby players George Kruis and Dominic Day.
Kruis and Day’s involvement stems from the fact the pair have their own medical cannabis company selling CBD products online. The letter read that Britain:
“…has to seize the chance to be the leading country and secure the jobs and [tax] revenue” from the industry. “If not, another European country undoubtedly will. To this end, we are calling for a cannabis tsar or government body to be created to oversee the expansion of the industry in this country.”
Internationally, the legal cannabis market is expected to grow to a value of £50 billion over the next five years. Conservative estimates expect the market in Europe to be worth around £2.5 billion within the next 3 to 4 years.
The first medicinal cannabis companies to list on the London Stock exchange did so in February. Both, MGC Pharma and Kanabo, saw strong interest from investors with the latter’s valuation at one stage up by 800%.