Andrew Forestry invests $5 million in a medicinal cannabis company

Andrew Forrest, a billionaire who has just placed $5 million in shares by Tattarang, his family’s investment arm, into Emyria, a Perth-based company for health technology and medicine.

Dr. Forrest’s venture into medicinal cannabis is a few months following the $15 million investment by Gina Rinehart, an iron ore magnate, to support the European expansion of Little Green Pharma in the growing sector.

Andrew Forrest’s Tattarang family investment arm has invested $5 million in a Perth company involved in the medical cannabis industry. CREDIT:DOMINIC LORIMER

Emyria listed on the ASX in 2012, just before Australia fell into the global COVID-19 pandemic. It has been working with trials of a synthetic cannabis that targets mental health. The company hopes to register it domestically as well as on the American market.

The small company operates seven clinics for patient care in Australia, which it uses to develop and register new drugs.

Michael Winlo, Emyria’s managing director, stated that the company has treated over 5000 people with its cannabinoid wholesale terpene programs and was currently preparing for an MDMA test next year to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Winlo stated that the Therapeutic Goods Administration was expected to decide next month whether MDMA would be moved from a Schedule 9 drug (which are banned substances) to a Schedule 8 drug.

“In light the evidence and growing recognition of major mental disorders and the need to have more treatment options. He stated that he believes there will be a persuasive argument before the TGA.

Dr Winlo stated that a MDMA clinical study would be possible regardless of the TGA decision.

John Hartman, Tattarang’s chief investment officer, stated that Emyria’s investment in “industry-leading data collection” would enable it to innovate faster than any other company and bring new treatments online quickly and cost-effectively.

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He stated that he believes evidence-based and properly registered medicinal cannabis and novel psychoedelic treatments like terpenes in beer have huge growth potential in global healthcare jurisdictions.

“Emyria is a data-driven company that has the potential to lead in the rapid development and registration new treatment options that could potentially benefit millions of patients.

Tattarang invested 7 percent in Emyria.

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Dr Winlo stated that it was wonderful to have a long-term thinker and supportive investor who would bring more than just funds into Emyria’s story.

In the last few years, there has been a lot of lobbying to change the classification of psychedelic drugs, psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms) and MDMA (found in ecstasy), to allow them to be used in clinical settings.

Andrew Robb, a former federal trade minister, has been a leading voice for change through Mind Medicine Australia’s board role.

In February, the TGA issued an interim decision not to reclassify MDMA and psilocybin.