According to a recent piece written by Benjamin Cohen, the nation of Israel is continuing to take a leadership position in terms of the development and monetization of cannabis technology.
He writes about this in From the Grapevine, explaining some of the reasons facilitating this center for innovation:
There are several reasons why Israel finds itself at the forefront of the cannabis industry, specifically for CBD – the chemical compound found in plants that can relieve anxiety and pain. The Mediterranean country – which is about the size of New Jersey – is home to the world’s largest facility for medical marijuana. Farmers across the nation are producing so much that Israel is poised to become a top exporter of CBD. “We’ll be able to produce more cannabis here than the entire state of Colorado,” one grower told Rolling Stone magazine, which dubbed Israel a “medical weed wonderland.”
“We’re making pharmaceutical cannabis on the scale that nowhere else in the world is doing,” Kaye added. The country is simply producing more than it needs. Not surprisingly, Israel has passed a law allowing for the exportation of medical cannabis. Kaye sees this process starting as early as 2020, instantly expanding the market for Israeli-made CBD products to millions of people overnight.
The second reason Israel is at the epicenter of this trend is because of the confluence of research that is being done at startup tech companies as well as in academic laboratories. Israel chemist Raphael Mechoulam, commonly referred to as the “Grandfather of Medical Marijuana,” still operates a lab at Hebrew University.
Full-blown clinical trials are often easier to do and face less regulation in Israel. Dozens of U.S. companies have set up medical marijuana R&D facilities in Israel. Dr. Alan Shackelford, a Harvard alum who was one of the first U.S. doctors to prescribe cannabis, has also set up a research lab there. “We have the highest number of Ph.Ds per capita in the world,” Kaye explained. “We’re No. 2 in cannabis patents outside of China. And we’re No. 2 in investment funding outside of Silicon Valley. So that makes this a robust place to begin a new industry.”
Read the full article for the rest of the story.
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