Israel is on the map for cannabis production. The country claims the world’s foremost researcher Raphael Mechoulam as its pioneer –– in the 60s he discovered and isolated THC and then CBD and other important medical cannabis molecules. There has been a race to get this world-renown expert onboard dozens if not hundreds of medical marijuana company’s boards. The winner has been Cannbit (CANNBIT-M – TASE), a medical cannabis producer in Israel. New to the scene, the publicly-traded company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange plans to produce and export medical grade cannabis from Israel now that laws permit export.
Mechoulam is a professor at the Institute for Drug Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Cannbit based in Tel Aviv, has a business relationship with the Canadian cannabis company Namaste (traded on the TSX Venture Exchange, a stock exchange in Canada. It is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta and has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal) which is listed on the Canadian exchange and which hopes to dual-list in Israel. Namaste (TSXV: N) has invested in Cannbit as a grower and supplier of raw material for its new ventures globally, among which include local ventures in Israel such as a chain of coffee, leisure, and explanatory centers in Israel. Recreational cannabis is legal across Canada, and the public perception indicates that Israel will be fully legal in the next 5 years.
Israeli cannabis entrepreneurs are on the forefront of new innovations in cannabis growing, pharmaceuticals, from areas like environmental pesticides, to genetics to artificial intelligence. Much of its success today is due o the fact that researchers, starting with Mechoulam were free to experiment on the molecule in a controlled setting, putting Israel at least a decade or more ahead of other countries such as Canada and the United States.
Namaste issued news in January that it was pleased to report a critical step in the export of medicinal cannabis from Israel. This is when the Israeli government approved the export of medical cannabis, a significant milestone for the Company and its Israeli partner, Cannbit, as a late-stage applicant, GMP-certified producer of medical cannabis.
Namaste owns 10% of Cannbit and has a collaboration and supply agreement to purchase medical cannabis. For Namaste, the Company intends on facilitating the import of medical cannabis from the Israeli market to Canada and other jurisdictions, subject to regulatory approvals as required, and adding Cannbit’s cannabis to Cannmart’s product line later this year.
“This is an important milestone for our Israeli partners, Cannbit, and our Cannmart customers,” said Sean Dollinger, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Namaste Technologies. “Our goal is to import medical cannabis from the Israeli market and offer it to Canadian patients. Furthermore, this approval opens the door for Namaste to potentially import product into other key markets.”
See an interview with Cannbit CEO Yaron Razon:
“The government approval for the export of medicinal cannabis should have a material impact on our business and help us with global expansion,” said Yaron Razon, President and CEO of Cannbit. “We will be producing flower and cannabis oil in-house and anticipate that the first exports will be seen towards the end of the year, and look forward to supplying Cannmart and its global partners with high-quality medical-grade cannabis.”
Cannbit also recently announced that it will produce NIS 4.8 million worth of cannabis for Tikun Olam, one of Israel’s leading licensed producers of medical cannabis. Under the agreement, Cannbit will grow Tikun Olam’s two unique cannabis strains on the basis of the growing protocol developed by Tikun Olam.
Growth will be up until the wet plant is harvested, while Tikun Olam will be responsible for drying and processing it.
Cannbit is known in the cannabis world as a grower: it will use best in the field Israeli known-how and technology to produce the highest level of quality of medical grade cannabis on the market. This will go to treating a wide range of illnesses.
Cannbit intends to become Israel’s leading exporter for medical cannabis to legal jurisdictions around the globe. Cannbit’s facility is 4,000 square meters with an additional 10,000 square meters available for expansion and is locataed in Neot Hakikar, an area well known in the Israeli agricultural community with clear advantages in the cold seasons. The cultivation is carried out in a sophisticated greenhouse that be controlled and which provides ideal conditions for a variety of cannabis strains.
Cannbit’s management is comprised of a group of industry professionals in relevant disciplines.