Say Shalom to Israel’s Cannabis Industry


2018-12-26 08:30:14 Investing News Network


Israel’s cannabis industry has a long history of innovation and revolutionary research, and that history will be the country’s biggest advantage in the emerging international cannabis market. Medical cannabis users in legal jurisdictions everywhere owe a lot more to the nation of Israel than many realize. The country has very quietly been a world leading hub of medical cannabis industry research and development (R&D) long before Canada stole the show by legalizing the plant for recreational use. While the United States is still putting arduous restraints on even the study of cannabis, effectively keeping it out of the hands of researchers, Israel has been embracing cannabis research for decades. It is thanks to the work of Israeli cannabis researchers that the plant has gained the legitimacy necessary for legalization in Canada, numerous US states and elsewhere. Now, with recreational cannabis legal in Canada and medical cannabis legal in a growing number of countries and states, Israel is set to become a global leader in the cannabis business. Israel’s unprecedented readiness for a global wave of cannabis legalization is paying off in foreign investment in its cannabis sector. A growing number of American companies and investors in particular are seeing advantages in Israel not found in their domestic market. In 2016 alone, more than US$250 million was invested in Israeli cannabis companies, with funds coming primarily from North America. North American cannabis companies are increasingly establishing R&D in Israel, with at least 15 US companies now conducting R&D in the country. One reason for American and Canadian interest in Israel is the country’s few barriers to cannabis research and business compared to the US. While several states that have legalized the product, cannabis is still viewed as a schedule one drug at the federal level. Israel’s cannabis industry history and culture Israel is a cannabis-friendly country with an established cannabis culture that goes back decades. While non-medical cannabis remains illegal in Israel as of now, support for legalization is widespread and bipartisan. In March 2018, the Israeli parliament unanimously passed decriminalization legislation that significantly reduced the penalties for cannabis use, an event that was largely seen as a step in the direction towards legalization. Israel’s Anti-Drug Authority suggests that as many as 27 percent of Israeli adults have used cannabis, which gives the country the highest proportion of cannabis users in the world. The country is home to 30,000 registered medical users, using approximately 14 tons of cannabis each year. Israel’s comparative acceptance of cannabis could be seen as a result of the country’s greater understanding of the plant and its effects, which comes from being one of the very few countries that has been willing to allow comprehensive unbiased study of cannabis. In the early 1960s, while the United States and other western nations effectively prohibited researchers from taking any sort of serious look at cannabis, Israeli researchers were allowed access to the plant. In 1964, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem set the stage for the discovery of cannabis’ medical potential. His team was the first to isolate THC and later identified the endocannabinoid system, discovering the means in which cannabinoids work with the human body. Israel would continue this research over the following decades while other countries disregarded cannabis as having no medical value. In 1996, Israel was the first country to develop a national program focused on medical marijuana, and it wasn’t long after that the nation turned into one of the first countries to allow medical use of cannabis. Israel quickly became the world’s prime destination for medical cannabis R&D as result of the open regulatory environment. As medicinal cannabis is increasingly accepted around the globe, this leadership trend continues for Israel. Israeli medical cannabis industry Israel has a reputation for fostering a favorable ecosystem for startups. Strong support from the state through public and private partnerships, grants, as well as tax breaks have made the country a hotbed of innovation complete with one of the deepest talent pools in the world. This innovation has long been apparent in agri-tech and life sciences, fields that are naturally compatible with medical cannabis production. Israel has the favorable regulatory climate, talent and experience in cannabis research and production to build a world-class industry. Various forms of startup support from the government and a speedy permitting process with few roadblocks make Israel very attractive to cannabis companies both foreign and domestic. A recurring theme seen in jurisdictions legalizing cannabis medically and recreationally has been supply issues, as the industry struggles to keep up with demand. Enter Israel. The Israeli government has recognized the opportunity in becoming the world’s growhouse and has been working on legislation for the past year that will allow for the legal export of cannabis product to other legal medical cannabis countries. In November 2018, an Israeli government committee approved the first draft of the nation’s medical cannabis export law, a large step towards opening the global market up for Israeli cannabis. While the Israeli domestic cannabis market is worth US$150 million, the legal global market is expected to be larger than US$145 billion by 2025. International interest in Israel’s cannabis industry Israel’s cannabis industry is attracting interest from around the world and Canadian cannabis company Aura Health (CSE:BUZZ) is pure play on the Israeli market. Aura has acquired 54 percent of HolyCanna Ltd., an Israeli company with a cultivation and sales license. Aura has also entered into a binding letter of intent in with Israeli cannabis company CannabiSendak Ltd. to acquire a 57 percent interest in the company. CannabiSendak is a company with deep roots in the Israeli cannabis culture, having been founded by iconic Israeli cannabis activist Shlomi Sendak. With this acquisition, Aura plans to establish itself in the Israeli cannabis market with licensed medical dispensaries throughout the country. American companies Cannabics Pharmaceuticals (OTCMKTS:CNBX) and World Cannabis Pharmaceuticals have also entered Israel to conduct R&D. Canadian company FSD Pharma (CSE:HUGE) also acquired Israeli company Therapix Biosciences ADR in October 2018. Takeaway Israel has been developing their medical cannabis industry for longer than any other country in the world. As the era of legalized cannabis dawns and spreads globally, Israel’s cannabis industry is preparing to become one of the premier global suppliers with the ability to produce high-quality and low-cost flower.
以色列的大麻产业有着悠久的创新和革命研究历史,而这一历史将成为该国在新兴国际大麻市场上的最大优势。 各地合法的医用大麻使用者对以色列的需求远远超过许多人所认识到的。早在加拿大因娱乐用大麻合法化而吸引全球注意之前,该国已经非常安静地成为世界领先的医用大麻产业研发中心(R&D)。 当美国甚至还在对大麻研究进行严格限制,有效地将其从研究人员手中夺走时,以色列已经进行了几十年的大麻研究。正是由于以色列大麻研究人员的工作,这种植物获得了在加拿大、美国多个州和其他地方合法化所需的合法性。 现在,随着加拿大的娱乐用大麻合法化以及越来越多的国家和州的医疗大麻合法化,以色列注定将成为大麻业务的全球领导者。 以色列对全球大麻合法化浪潮的前所未有的准备,正在从大麻部门的外国投资中获得回报。特别是越来越多的美国公司和投资者在以色列看到了在美国国内市场中找不到的优势。仅在2016年,就有超过2.5亿美元投资于以色列大麻公司,资金主要来自北美。北美大麻公司正在越来越多地在以色列建立研发中心,目前至少有15家美国公司在该国进行研发。美国和加拿大对以色列感兴趣的一个原因是该国与美国相比,大麻的研究和商业障碍很少。虽然有几个州将该产品合法化,但大麻仍然被视为联邦第一级管制药物。 以色列的大麻产业历史和文化 以色列是一个对大麻友好的国家,拥有可追溯到几十年前的既定大麻文化。虽然截至目前,非医疗大麻在以色列仍然是非法的,但对合法化的支持是两党中普遍存在的。2018年3月,以色列议会一致通过了非刑事化立法,大大减少了对大麻使用的处罚,这一事件在很大程度上被视为朝着合法化方向迈出的一步。以色列反毒品管理局表示,多达27%的以色列成年人使用过大麻,这使得该国有全世界最高比例的大麻使用者。该国拥有30,000名医疗大麻注册用户,每年使用大约14吨大麻。 以色列对大麻的相对接受可以看作是该国对该植物及其影响具有更深入理解的结果,因为以色列是少数几个愿意允许对大麻进行全面无偏见研究的国家之一。在20世纪60年代早期,当美国和其他西方国家有效地禁止研究人员对大麻采取任何严肃的态度的时候,以色列研究人员却被允许获得该植物。 1964年,耶路撒冷希伯来大学的Raphael Mechoulam博士为大麻医疗潜力的发现奠定了基础。他的团队是第一个分离出THC的人,随后发现了内源性大麻素系统,发现了大麻素与人体一起作用的方法。以色列将在接下来的几十年中继续进行这项研究,而其他国家则认为大麻没有医疗价值。1996年,以色列是第一个制定以医用大麻为重点国家计划的国家,不久之后,该国成为最早允许医用大麻的国家之一。由于开放的监管环境,以色列迅速成为世界医疗大麻研发的主要目的地。 随着药用大麻越来越被全球所接受,以色列的这种领导趋势仍在继续。 以色列医疗大麻产业 以色列以创建有利于创业公司的生态系统而闻名。通过公共和私人合作伙伴关系、赠款以及税收优惠,国家的大力支持使该国能够利用世界上最大人才库之一成为完整创新的温床。很长时间以来,这种创新在农业技术和生命科学领域已经很明显,这些领域与医用大麻生产自然相容。以色列拥有有利的监管环境、研究和生产方面的人才和经验,以建立世界一流的产业。政府提供的各种形式的启动支持以及几乎没有障碍的快速许可程序使以色列对国内外的大麻公司非常有吸引力。 由于该行业还在努力跟上需求,因此在医疗和娱乐大麻合法化的司法管辖区中出现的反复出现的主题一直是供应问题。进入以色列。以色列政府已经认识到有机会成为世界的种植中心,过去一年一直致力于立法,允许大麻产品合法出口到其他医疗大麻合法化的国家。2018年11月,以色列政府委员会批准了该国医疗大麻出口法的初稿,这是向以色列大麻开放全球市场迈出的一大步。虽然以色列国内大麻市场价值1.5亿美元,但到2025年,合法的全球市场预计将超过1450亿美元。 国际上对以色列大麻产业的兴趣 以色列的大麻产业吸引了全世界的兴趣,加拿大大麻公司Aura Health(CSE:BUZZ)是以色列市场中的专营公司。Aura已经收购了HolyCanna Ltd. 54%的股份,这是一家拥有种植和销售许可证的以色列公司。 Aura还与以色列大麻公司CannabiSendak Ltd.签订了一份具有约束力的意向书,以收购该公司57%的股权。CannabiSendak是一家深深植根于以色列大麻文化的公司,由以色列标志性的大麻活动家Shlomi Sendak创立。通过这次收购,Aura计划在以色列全国建立合法的医疗药房,确立自己在以色列大麻市场的地位。 美国公司Cannabics Pharmaceuticals(OTCMKTS:CNBX)和World Cannabis Pharmaceuticals也进入以色列进行研发。加拿大公司FSD Pharma(CSE:HUGE)也于2018年10月收购了以色列公司Therapix Biosciences ADR。 带走 以色列一直在发展其医疗大麻产业的时间超过世界上任何其他国家。随着大麻合法化时代的到来并在全球蔓延,以色列的大麻产业正准备成为能够生产高质量和低成本大麻花的全球主要供应商之一。