Althea Group Holdings Limited Looks To France For Cannabis Growth; Improving Financials For 2024

Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AGH) is looking to Europe as advancements in France’s adoption of medicinal cannabis, provide a driver for growth.

With the recent passage of the Social Security Financing Act for 2024, France is moving towards generalising the medical use of cannabis.

It would establish regulations for cannabis-based medicines and authorisations issued by the ANSM for five years.

In 2021, Althea played a role in France’s national pilot program.

Althea’s participation in the trial included around 3,000 patients across five treatment areas.

Althea served as a secondary supplier of medicinal cannabis products for evaluation by the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM).

This initiative aimed to assess the feasibility of legalising medicinal cannabis in France, positioning Althea strategically for potential market entry in the anticipated legalised French medicinal cannabis market.

Under these regulations, patients will have access to medicinal cannabis through prescription, subject to conditions with reimbursement options available.

Focus on oral formulations

However, it’s noteworthy that the ANSM’s framework for medicinal cannabis excludes certain forms, focusing solely on oral formulations.

This decision presents an advantage for Althea over cannabis cultivators, as products like dried flower cannabis and granules are omitted.

Additionally, certain products containing purified and isolated cannabinoids are also excluded.

Althea plans to leverage this regulatory environment by seeking authorisation for its innovative full-spectrum soft gel capsules, which offer a standardised dosage in a convenient format.

These capsules are suitable for managing chronic conditions such as pain, sleep disorders, and drug-resistant epilepsy, aligning with prevalent medical needs.

The company aims to secure ANSM authorisation for its soft gel capsules by December 31, 2024, capitalising on the growth potential offered by these unique products.

Financials

Financially, Althea had a robust performance, booking $8.80 million in customer receipts for the quarter ending December 31, 2023, marking a 33% increase from the previous year.

Half-yearly receipts for FY24 reached a record $18.26 million, indicating sustained growth.

Operating cash flow for the first half of FY24 improved, with a reduction of $3.93 million compared to the previous period.

According to the company, it would have been cash flow positive for the quarter were it not for timing differences with accounts receivables.

Notably, Althea’s debt-free status enhances financial flexibility.

The company finalised the sale and leaseback of its Canadian property, enabling full repayment of outstanding debt, including convertible notes.

It’s not been an easy ride for investors in cannabis companies over the past four years.

While early days, Althea’s strategic focus and early participation in the ‘long game’ on France’s evolving medicinal cannabis market, could start to pay dividends in 2024/25.

 

 

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