Danish cannabis producer StenoCare is poised to become the first European firm to launch an IPO, hoping to whip up investor interest in the industry.

StenoCare is planning to raise 18.6 kroner ($3.1 million) to ramp up production and grow the local market.

Denmark is one of a handful of European countries to permit CBD oil use, along with Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and in rare cases Britain. It is one of the few European countries to legalize cannabis production, and companies like StenoCare have been operating since the start of 2018.

StenoCare is the first Danish company to obtain a license to export cannabis. Now it’s planning to raise 18.6 kroner ($3.1 million) to ramp up production and grow the local market. Right now it imports cannabis products from Canada’s CannTrust Holdings Inc. and sells them to Danish retailers. But it will begin producing cannabis next year to better serve local users and export to neighbouring countries like Germany.

“The funds that we receive in the new share issue will be used exclusively to develop our ability to make a real difference in this new and important market,” said chief executive Thomas Skovlund Schnegelsberg.

He added that Germany and other countries are concerned about security of supply, because the global production capacity cannot keep up with demand, particularly when cannabis is legalized in Canada next month. “In order to secure supply to Denmark and other European markets, we need to have our own production,” he said.

The Danish rules for medical cannabis are among the most demanding and restrictive in the world. The government aims to produce clean crops with no harmful pesticides in hygienic environments that protect the plants from pollution. StenoCare and its peers are policed by the Danish Medicines Agency and they must uphold strict levels of quality.

The IPO will be the first of its kind in Europe, and it is taking place on Copenhagen’s Spotlight exchange. It values the firm at 59.7 million kroner ($9.1 million). If successful, the money will be used to finance the company’s planned growth, which includes the establishment of the production facility.

Earlier this month, Grizzle reported that the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF had broken through the billion-dollar mark for the first time on the back of soaring investor demand in the US and Canada. Schnegelsberg now hopes it will prove similarly popular with investors in Europe as the industry gathers pace on the other side of the Atlantic.

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