This Young Female CEO Founded Germany's First Publicly Traded Cannabis Company

Pia Marten, who previously worked in the renewable energy sector and gained experience in the operational management of a company, saw the potential benefits of medical cannabis and decided to act

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Not only is Germany at the heart of Europe, but it is also at the heart of the European cannabis landscape. The medical cannabis market in Germany is booming and towering over other European cannabis markets, with new research and legislation paving the way for potentially immensely beneficial medical cannabis therapies. While this market segment is still in its infancy, its future is looking very bright.

Cannovum Boersenlisting/Photograph Harald Schnauder
Pia Marten

According to Prohibition Partners, over a million German patients will have access to medical cannabis by 2024. Further, the medical cannabis market alone is expected to be worth around €7.7 billion by 2028. That being said, there is still a certain stigma surrounding cannabis.

Unfortunately, this stigmatization is preventing many ill patients from receiving access to medical cannabis even though it could help them. With the public debate being hung up on recreational marijuana and legislation changing ever so slowly, a lot of potential to help patients is being left on the table. Pia Marten, who previously worked in the renewable energy sector and gained experience in the operational management of a company, saw the potential benefits of medical cannabis and decided to act.

“I want to make a positive contribution, work on something meaningful […] For me, sustainability, future potential and quality of life are the keywords that connect medical cannabis and regenerative energies. Sustainable cultivation is very important to me. We are the first company to bring sustainably produced medicinal cannabis to Germany,” said Marten in an interview with krautinvest.de.

Sustainability meets medical cannabis

As a result of her time working in the renewable energy sector, the topic of sustainability has been with Marten for a long time. So, Marten took a different approach to medical cannabis than the competition. In 2019, equipped with her experience and expertise from past ventures, she went on to found Cannovum AG together with Marius Koose, who has many years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Cannovum is a fully licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler, importer, and manufacturer of high-quality medical cannabis aiming to supply patients in Germany and the rest of Europe with its own sustainable medical cannabis brand.

That being said, the legal and pharmaceutical framework for the trade of medical cannabis in Germany are known to be very stringent in order to protect patients. Since this applies to the wholesalers, like Cannovum, as well as to the producers, the company had to choose its producer based on an extremely strict set of requirements and check compliance with all requirements on site.

Fortunately, this strenuous process paid off. Now, just two years after it was founded, Cannovum is the first German medical cannabis business that is listed on the stock exchange, making the 30-year-old Pia Marten the youngest female CEO to have a company listed on a German stock exchange.

“We want to provide medical cannabis for patients in Germany and Europe. My drive for this company comes from the need to improve patients’ access to cannabis-based therapy and to improve patients’ lives. There is a lot of stigma and misunderstanding surrounding medical cannabis and I want to change that. To be a founder & CEO in such a new and emerging industry puts me in a unique position: Every day I have the opportunity to further build the industry up,” said Marten.

Cannovum will be the first company to make sustainably cultivated medical cannabis that is free of chemical pesticides and sunlight-grown as well as -ripened available on the German market. However, seeing as medical cannabis is experiencing a systemic issue, just getting more high-quality products out there won’t actually solve the underlying problems.

Empowering medical professionals and spreading information

Pharmacists and doctors are the pioneers of cannabis-based therapies. However, unfortunately, medical cannabis is still rarely part of medical and pharmaceutical education, which leaves medical professionals in need of additional advanced training. Consequently, doctors are the bottleneck at the moment. There are way too many patients in need of medical cannabis and not nearly enough doctors who prescribe cannabis and are properly trained.

I believe one thing we need to improve is to broaden the access of patients to cannabis based therapies. Unfortunately, the endocannabinoid system and cannabis are rarely part of the medical and pharmaceutical training. We want to support them in taking care of their patients by providing comprehensive information about cannabinoid medicines and therapies,” adds Marten.

So, in an effort to make an impactful difference, Marten didn’t just set out to make medical cannabis available to patients, she set out to build a platform that provides advanced medical training in order to tackle the root of the issue. To make this possible, Cannovum built a Medical Advisory Board consisting of experts and pioneers in cannabis therapy. Head of the Medical Advisory Board is Dr. med. Dipl.-Chem. Konrad F. Cimander, who is an expert in addiction medicine, infectiology, and cannabis therapy. 

Cannovum’s medical advisors are also pouring their wealth of knowledge into the current project: Building a virtual training platform for healthcare professionals to provide even easier access to information. Cannovum already offers free customized workshops that include advanced training for pharmacists and doctors to support them in taking care of their patients.

Woody Mooers

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Woody Mooers is an American Entrepreneur with a background in advertising and science who focuses primarily on brand building as well as manufacturing. Over his career he has helped develop flagship products for some of the largest consumer brands in the United States. Woody Mooers works with brands to analyze consumer behavior and make informed decisions when creating new products. Woody Mooers specializes in custom product development, contract manufacturing, brand building, and marketing strategy.