First Wednesdays is a network of European investors and entrepreneurs working in the cannabis sector. Founded in London in 2018 by the team behind Hanway Associates, the network has over 3500 members, and regional chapters in Paris and Amsterdam.
Laurence Busch Hansen, Head of Community at First Wednesdays said:
“We felt it was important to take a closer look at current activity in the UK cannabis ecosystem and how much it has grown since we started 2 years ago. To celebrate the progress the industry has made in those 2 years we have compiled a map of the ecosystem, looking at core segments of the market, and covering unique UK-headquartered companies operating in each market segment.”
The London chapter has seen a huge number of law firms engage with the network, offering services and getting involved in the transactions that are beginning to pick up in speed and size in Europe.
Household legal name, DLA Piper have recently launched a cannabis practice within their global business and have been extremely active since the start of the network in the UK. Dylan Kennet, Senior Associate at DLA Piper’s London office said:
“We as a firm remain bullish that the UK will be a leading player in the medicinal cannabis market. This optimism is predicated on companies having access to growth capital, both private and public; the former is growing, while the latter remains extremely difficult to procure given what seems to be a reluctance by the major public markets in the UK to list such entities. Coupled with regulatory hurdles to patient access, there are still some ways to go – but we are still in the beginning phases.”