Next Agenda: Cannabis startup raises $44m, MTN’s service disruption affects a few customers

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Good morning guys. Welcome to the Next Agenda. For the first story on our agenda, investment in cannabis-based startups is picking up steam in Europe as today witnessed the largest-ever investment round on the continent.

Also on the agenda, MTN says its service disruption would affect only a few customers and finally, a Nigerian lawyer is dragging the FG to court over the Twitter ban.

Highest-ever cannabis financing in Europe?

Germany-based cannabis and digital health startup, Sanity Group has raised $44.2 million in a Series A funding round. The round, which brings Sanity Group’s total funding to $73 million, is touted to be the largest-ever cannabis financing in all of Europe. The weed is growing. Literally.

Next Agenda: Cannabis startup raises $44m, MTN service disruption to affect a few customers
Sanity Group

With the new influx of fund, the group would be looking to expand its medical division in Europe. It will also be hoping to complete an EU-GMP-compliant research and production facility near Frankfurt in Germany.

“A round of this magnitude shows that cannabis is increasingly moving into the mainstream of investor awareness, and represents an important milestone in our business expansion on our way to becoming Europe’s leading cannabis company.”

Finn Age Hänsel, founder and managing director of Sanity Group

Sanity is a health technology startup that uses cannabis for mental health and chronic pain management and enables the tracking of cannabis-based therapy digitally with a medical device. This device tells customers how much of the active ingredient (THC, CBD or other cannabinoids) is being administered, an information which is then registered in a therapy diary.

MTN says network disruption will affect only a few customers

Nigerian telecom giant, MTN has allayed fears that is experiencing widespread service disruption, explaining that the downtime would affect only a handful of its subscribers. Nigeria’s largest telco explained this in a notice seen by Nairametrics.

For the past 2 days, several MTN subscribers have complained of service disruption and downtimes, especially for internet use. But MTN had already sent out memos to its customers that such disruptions should be expected.

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MTN said the earlier fears were due to this routine notification it has sent out to its customers to inform them of potential disruptions. According to the company, this was standard practice and as such shouldn’t have been blown out of proportion.

In line with MTN Nigeria’s standard practice, this includes communicating to and informing customers of any potential disruptions in a timely manner, whether due to maintenance on the network, outages due to faults or other circumstances that may pose a risk, enabling them to plan appropriately and put in place business continuity measures.

MTN Nigeria

The company said the notice was sent to a small group of businesses affected by a specific challenge in very few specific locations. These notices are regularly distributed to partners and are not out of the ordinary.

NBA/SPIDEL chairman sues FG over Twitter ban

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA/SPIDEL), Monday Ubani, has dragged the Federal Government to court over the ban on Twitter.

Vanguard gathered that the suit which was filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos is seeking to upturn the ban on Twitter because it is unlawful and violates the fundamental right of freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinions, receive and impact ideas and information without interference as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.

lai mohammed
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Respondents in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Minister of Information and Culture and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Recall that the FG had banned the operations of Twitter in Nigeria after the microblogging platform pulled down a series of tweets by President Buhari on grounds that they violated the rules of the platform. The AGF went a step further to order the arrest and prosecution of anybody yet to delete their Twitter apps and accounts.

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