Synthetic cannabinoid maker Nalu Bio raises $12 million

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Nalu Bio, a producer of synthetic cannabinoids, said it raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Intrinsic Capital Partners, a Pennsylvania-based investment firm focused on life science and technology businesses in the legal marijuana and hemp industries.

The investment in the San Francisco-based company, announced in a Tuesday news release, comes amid a tough stretch of raising capital in the hemp and marijuana sectors, where deals are in short supply and terms costly.

State regulators are also taking a much more stringent view on cannabinoids, with Connecticut, Virginia and Utah cracking down on the production and sale of delta-8 products and their derivatives.

Lawmakers in West Virginia are also proposing a ban on products containing delta-8 THC.

Other backers in the funding round include Flybridge Capital Partners, Portfolia Active Aging & Longevity Fund, Bonaventure Equity, L37 Ventures, Golden Seeds, Sacramento Angels, Brown Angel Group and Axial Venture.

Nalu Bio plans to use the funds to accelerate growth and scale production of cannabinoids for consumer products and therapeutics after its “cost-effective” synthesis of the nonpsychoactive, minor cannabinoid THCV, the company said in its release.

“At Nalu Bio, we have created a platform that produces ultra-pure, cost-effective, non-hemp derived cannabinoids so that consumers and companies will have safer, more reliable products that improve everyday life,” Caitlyn Krebs, Nalu Bio co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

“This investment allows us to aggressively expand the business worldwide, own the category and bring high quality cannabinoids to manufacturers who want cost-effective THC-free ingredients for their products.”

Unlike other synthesized cannabinoid makers, Nalu Bio said it created a production technique utilizing organic, non-hemp compounds that are converted into the desired cannabinoid ingredient, generating “molecularly identical versions of naturally occurring cannabinoids” free from contaminants sometimes found in hemp-extracted cannabinoids.

Nalu Bio said it plans to launch a full suite of cannabinoid-like products mimicking CBD, THCV, CBN, CBC, CBG and others while expanding its scientific and commercial teams to meet global demand.