Medical cannabis facility investment is third healthtech deal for PE firm
Yorkshire-based private equity firm, Traditum, has completed its third healthtech deal within six months with an investment into one of the UK’s first medicinal cannabis cultivation and production facilities.
Traditum’s investment in Hilltop Leaf was part of a £2m funding round which also included private investors.
The funding will enable the company to make its first commercial sales and scale its infrastructure to become one of the largest UK producers of medicinal cannabis products for the specialist prescription market.
Hilltop Leaf has already completed construction of an 118,400 sq ft production facility in southern Scotland.
It holds a Manufacturers ‘Specials’ Licence and Wholesaler Dealer Authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
The company intends to produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans (CBPMs) which will ultimately be processed on site.
When fully operational, it has the potential to supply over 10% of the UK market.
Hilltop Leaf was founded in 2019 by Hamish Clegg, a former financier and serial entrepreneur, with father and son Neil and Will Ewart who have a track record in windfarms and agriculture.
The company has a research partnership with Nottingham Trent University which specialises in testing and clinical trials.
Around 1.8 million people in the UK use ‘black market’ cannabis to treat medical conditions, according to the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis.
Medicinal cannabis was legalised in 2018 and is now used by over 20,000 patients in the UK, with uptake expected to grow rapidly.
Clegg said: “We are building a business around the three key pillars of health innovation, environmental sustainability, and community impact.
“Although medicinal cannabis use is growing, the UK relies solely on imports and we understand there is a problem with the reliability of the supply chain.
“We aim to provide an affordable, high quality solution to treat conditions ranging from chronic pain to severe epilepsy, while easing pressure on the NHS. We plan to rival other countries such as Canada, Germany and Israel with our own reliable supply from the hills of Scotland.”
Tom Hurley, investment director with Traditum, said: “Hilltop Leaf is Traditum’s third Healthtech deal in six months and will add further strength to our growing portfolio.
“We believe cannabis has the potential to offer new and better treatments for some conditions and provide an alternative to opioids for pain relief.
“We have been impressed by the strength of the company’s management team, their fastidious approach to quality and their vision to create a purpose-built facility backed by research and development.
“Hilltop Leaf has the chance to gain an early mover advantage and become a clear leader in the UK’s emerging medicinal cannabis industry.”
Nina Latham, principal associate in the corporate team at Mills & Reeve, provided legal advice to Traditum on the deal.
James Paton-Philip, partner at Hill Dickinson, provided legal advice to Hilltop Leaf and James Turner of Damus Capital provided fundraising advice to the company.