Wednesday 23 October 2019

Canadian cannabis beer pioneer seeks Irish investors for €19m round

A technician at the Province lab in Ontario. Photo: Bloomberg
A technician at the Province lab in Ontario. Photo: Bloomberg

Michael Cogley

Canadian cannabis-based brewer Province Brands has begun seeking Irish investors for its latest CAD$30m (€19m) funding round.

The company, which was founded two years ago, has raised CAD$20m to date as international investors continue to pour into the new category.

Some of the world's largest brewers including Budweiser owner AB InBev and Coors Light owner Molson Coors have begun investing in cannabis-infused beer.

Province claims that its product is groundbreaking as it strips out the barley from the beer-making process and replaces it with cannabis, unlike other brands which add cannabis to a barley-based mix.

Founder Dooma Wendschuh travelled to Dublin last week to meet Irish investment funds as well as asset and wealth managers.

"Right now we're closing down our latest funding round but we expect to go again," he said.

"It's a very capital-intensive business so we expect this fundraise to be followed of another of at least CAD$70m."

Wendschuh said his trip to Dublin was two fold, one to meet "larger institutional investors" and also to deliver the keynote speech at the International Beer Strategies Conference in the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road.

"The reaction to our meetings has been extraordinary. I've been doing follow-up emails on the plane ride back and conducting a bunch of follow-up calls," he said.

"Fundraising is one of those things where you can walk out of a meeting and think it went really well and they say 'no' and you can walk out and think it went terribly and they say 'yes' so it's always really hard to say. But I must say it does seem very promising."

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