The height of corruption millions sit in UK jails while the goverments friends earn billions, how many lives have their corrupt practices ruined
A British scientist dubbed ‘Dr Pot’ and his business partner were last night celebrating a £94million windfall after selling their cannabis firm for £5.3billion.
GW Pharmaceuticals, a company which counts ex UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s husband amongst its shareholders.
Philip May’s company, Capital Group, owns a significant share in GW, which is one of the biggest cultivators of cannabis in the world.
The UK Home Secretary at the time Sajid Javid overseen by then prime minister Theresa May issued a licence for a batch of cannabis oil, which was illegal in the UK at the time, to treat Billy Caldwell, who suffers from violent epileptic seizures. Shortly after the move, Alfie Dingley was also granted a license for the oil, to treat his epilepsy. Alfie had previously been denied the medication.
In a $7.2bn cash-and-stock deal that will expand the US drugmaker’s neuroscience portfolio. US-listed GW will receive $220 per share, of which $200 will be paid in cash and the rest in Jazz stock.
The offer represents a 50 per cent premium on GW’s closing share price on February 2. Shares in GW were up 47 per cent in pre-market trading on Wednesday while Jazz’s stock price declined almost 5 per cent. The deal will give Jazz access to Epidiolex, a drug developed by GW to treat childhood epilepsy, which in 2018 was the first cannabis-derived medicine to receive US regulatory approval and become available on the UK’s NHS.
It comes as cannabis-based medicines are increasingly being legalised across the globe, including North America and parts of Europe, making the sector one of the fastest-growing in pharmaceuticals.
“We are joining two teams that share a passion for, and track record of, developing differentiated therapies that advance science and transform the lives of patients,” said Bruce Cozadd, chairman and chief executive of Jazz, in a statement. “This will help facilitate a successful integration and bring added capabilities to Jazz.”
Dr Geoffrey Guy will take home £65.9million after selling his cannabis company, GW Pharmaceuticals, for £5.3billion to rivals in Ireland. The firm created Sativex mouth spray, the first cannabis-based medicine to be approved by any country
GW then received approval in the US for a second drug, called Epidyolex, which combats seizures suffered by people with epilepsy.
Approval in Europe followed in 2019, with both Sativex and Epidyolex becoming the first cannabis-based drugs to become available on the NHS.
Last year GW reported annual sales of £385million.
Other directors of the company include former Cabinet minister Lord Waldegrave, who served under Margaret Thatcher and John Major and is chairman of Coutts, the Queen’s bank.
Mr Gover said yesterday: ‘Over the last two decades, GW has built an unparalleled global leadership position in cannabinoid science.
‘We believe that Jazz is an ideal growth partner that is committed to supporting our commercial efforts, as well as ongoing clinical and research programs.
Together, we will have an opportunity to reach and impact more patients.’
Dr Guy, who serves as GW’s chairman, received a pay package worth £5.8million including shares in 2019.
He has used his cannabis-based fortune to amass a property portfolio, including Axnoller Farm, which has hosted celebrity weddings, and Chedington Court, a Jacobean-style grade II-listed house – both in Dorset.
GW Pharmaceuticals secured a Home Office licence to grow cannabis in England where weed is still illegal and has pioneered marijuana treatments. GW carries out research and development in Cambridge and its cannabis is refined in sites across the South
Cannabis-based medicines were legalised in 2018 by former home secretary Sajid Javid following a campaign by parents of children with severe epilepsies such as Dravet syndrome.
They argued that drugs such as Epidyolex could help reduce the occurrence of life-threatening seizures.
Epidyolex contains cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis plants also known as CBD. Sativex contains both CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical that gets users high.
GW carries out research and development in Cambridge and its cannabis is refined in sites across south England.
The company employs more than 1,000 people.