Recording artist Snoop Dogg speaks on stage on day one of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 at Pier 70 on September 21, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
LONDON – Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, happily endorsed by rapper Snoop Dogg and tobacco giant Imperial Brands, launched on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.
The British company, which specializes in developing pain relieving cannabinoid drugs, grossed £ 16.5 million ($ 23.4 million) in gross proceeds on its IPO with a starting market value of just over £ 48 million ($ 69 million) .1 million USD).
The share price hovered around 5p on Friday lunchtime after opening near 8p.
Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr., has invested in several cannabis startups, including OCT, through his venture capital firm Casa Verde. His firm has also supported plant-based food companies like Outstanding Foods and tech names like Klarna, Robinhood, and Reddit.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compound chemicals found in the cannabis sativa plant and are commonly used for medicinal purposes to treat symptoms such as chronic pain.
OCT’s strategy is to develop cannabinoid drugs for the non-addictive treatment of painful conditions. CEO John Lucas told CNBC on Friday the company plans to use the proceeds of its IPO to develop four new drugs.
“The key here is getting cannabinoids into the hands of patients and the way you do that happens through the drug development process,” Lucas told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.
“With medical cannabis, the problem is that doctors can’t prescribe it, so we want a drug that we can get into the hands of doctors, into the hands of patients.”
In its listing announcement, OCT said its “primary market focus is on the total addressable pain market, valued at at least £ 42.5 billion through the commercialization of the first drug manufactured by OCT, currently expected in 2027.”