Irish Central Bank Signs Off On €150m Medical Ganja Fund

Shawn Pogatchnik

THE Central Bank of Ireland has given the green light for an Irish domiciled investment fund that is seeking to raise up to €150m to back companies in the legal medicinal cannabis industry.

The private equity Óskare Fund will be marketed internationally to wealthy private and institutional investors who can put in at least €100,000 to back a portfolio of investments based on the research, development and sale of cannabis-based products – but only for medicinal purposes.

Investors over the past year have ploughed billions into such funds in North America in line with legalisation of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. In January, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on medical cannabis firms and managed by Canada’s Purpose Investments listed on the Irish exchange.

But the Óskare Fund – being offered by Irish firm Crossroads Capital Management and France-based cannabis investment specialist Óskare Capital with advice from solicitors Eversheds Sutherland – has become the first such fund to be domiciled here. The Central Bank approved the fund to register as an Irish collective asset-management vehicle (icav) last month.

The prospectus describes the fund as “a long-term, potentially high-risk investment which is suitable only for sophisticated institutional and high-net-worth investors which are able to bear the risk of losing the entirety of the value of their shares”.

It specifies that the closed-end fund would seek €30m in its initial round and up to €120m more in successive rounds. Terms require investors to commit their money for at least four years. (Read more)

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