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Irish-French Alternative Investment Fund Launched In Search Of Long-Term Cannabis Returns

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Óskare Fund – a joint venture between Irish and French firms (Crossroads Capital Management and Óskare Capital) is an alternative fund now seeking investors and longer-term returns in the industry (no small feat). Neither is its existence. This is the first such fund to be domiciled in Ireland, approved by the Central Bank only last month.

In January, a (separately managed) exchange-traded fund (ETF) was first listed on the Irish exchange.

Private investors in the Óskare Fund must be able to invest at least €100,000 in portfolios based on the development and sale of medical-only cannabinoid-based products. The first round of the fund seeks €30 million in its first tranche, however, managers said that they sought up to €120 million more in successive rounds.

The prospectus describes the fund this way: “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.” A good start for sure in a niche that is already known for high volatility (see the Canadian public market if not the U.S.)

Investment strategy is to invest primarily in unlisted cannabis-related companies with broad and global exposure to the industry. This includes those firms involved in R&D in the medical space (including the development of pharmaceutical products and extracts) and all things (from production to equipment) on the hemp side of the equation.

The fund will seek stakes and boardroom representation in early-stage start-ups across the medical vertical, but not directly in cultivation. The investments will also be weighted in favour of Europe.

The fund, named after the Mohawk Indian name for cannabis, believes that this region offers the best regulatory environment for innovation, research and development of cannabinoids used for medical purposes.

Why Is This Interesting To Foreign Investors?

One of the more difficult aspects of investing in the European space is language barriers. The second is all the Brexit-related financial and compliance issues that go with the divorce. For that reason, Dublin, where the fund is located, is a hotbed for “alternative” investments if not cannabis (yet). Give it time.

The reason? There are financial incentives on both sides of the Brexit barrier, for one, that those in Ireland are well used to navigating (and far from just the cannabis front specifically). With feet in both the UK and Europe, in other words, this fund, as well as others, if properly managed, stands to play an increasingly important role in a Euro-market hungry for access to equity and a British market that is full of potential but still way behind with money sloshing around looking for “foreign” adventures.

For the latest on European cannabis developments, including financing and investing, be sure to attend the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Europe.

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