What Sativa does
Listed on the NEX exchange in March 2018 as an investment company focused on Canada-based cannabis companies, where the drug is now approved for medicinal and recreational use.
Sativa has since capitalised on its first-mover advantage and, following the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the UK in late 2018, has evolved to focus on the development of an operational business.
Chief executive Henry Lees-Buckley, a former global executive at Fortune 500 industrial supply firm WW Grainger was appointed in August 2019 and set about on refining the strategic focus and reorganising the operations.
What Sativa owns
Sativa’s operational UK businesses are Goodbody Botanicals and Goodbody Wellness, both tapping into the health and beauty industries.
Goodbody Botanicals makes CBD products that are sold online and via high street retailers, with products manufactured using high-quality cannabis oils obtained from reputable suppliers.
Goodbody Wellness, the group’s retail store business, tested the potential for a franchise roll-out via three pilot outlets in 2019, which led to the group modifying the roll-out model to introduce smaller and lower-cost concessions with an expanded product range.
In October 2019, the company also received a controlled drug licence from the UK Home Office, allowing it to produce and supply medicinal cannabis from its headquarters in Somerset.
This led to the beginning of a research partnership agreement with King’s College London to research the impact of cannabinoids on inflammation and respiratory conditions.
Sativa's other business interests include the Tessellate Collective, a custom-built direct sales channel that taps into the £2.6bn network marketing industry that has a strong existing tilt towards wellness and cosmetics.
In PhytoVista Laboratories, the group has a testing facility that is close to achieving ISO accreditation.
On the medicinal front, the group's efforts are currently focused on the veterinary space.
How it is doing
Gross profits and underlying earnings (EBITDA) for 2019 are expected to be ahead of guidance, while revenue is set to come in more than five times higher than the prior year.
Sativa concluded the year with a £1.4mln share placing to fund the next stage of its development as it aims to ramp up sales in 2020.
Tessellate and PhytoVista Laboratories both started the new year well, the company said, while first cannabis was harvested as part of the King's College collaboration.
Progress has continued in 2020, with Goodbody Botanicals getting on the books of distributor Alliance Healthcare, which will offer the products to the 1,500 best performing independent pharmacies among its 10,000 clients.
The brand also will be appearing on the shelves of WH Smith's travel business after a product listing win with the FTSE 250 group, with around 100 of the retailer’s highest footfall outlets to stock the products.
What the CEO says: Henry Lees-Buckley
"2019 was a year of progress for Sativa, with the focus being on building a strong foundation for growth."
"I am confident 2020 will be a breakout year and will solidify our position as a leading UK CBD wellness and medicinal cannabis company."
After the UK government allowed faster access to prescribed cannabis-based medicines, Lees-Buckley said this shows the country is “fast-developing as a significant medicinal cannabis market”.
- In March the company launched a new alcohol-based hand cleanser using cannabigerol (CBG)
- In November 2019, Sativa said that it was exploring a potential listing on AIM in 2020
- The company appointed Clive Page, professor of pharmacology at King's College London, to its medical advisory board
- Sativa has signed commercial offtake agreements with two suppliers of cannabis oil for the manufacture of CBD products in the UK.