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U.S. Firms are Attracted to Invest in Israeli Cannabis R&D

March 30
6:06 AM 2016

Israel is already a pioneer in high tech agriculture with its advance agricultural technology. Now, the small county is leading in the medical marijuana research and developemnt, which attracting U.S. firms to invest.

In Israel, the medical cannabis research has gained advantage with its climate and added with the high tech agricultural technology. A head of BOL Pharma, a company authorised by the Israeli health ministry to grow and distribute medical cannabis, Tamir Gedo told YNet News, "For cannabis, we are in the promised land with a good climate, 300 days of sunshine each year and perfect levels of humidity."

Although the usage of cannabis for recreational purpose is illegal in the Jewish state, but its therapeutic use is permitted, and even encouraged. In 2015, doctors prescribed cannabis to 25,000 patients who suffer from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases. The cannabis is prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of the diseases, revive lost appetite and to help sleeping disorder, anxiety and inflammation.

Medical marijuana research in Israel is the most advanced in the world. Israelis health authorities have allowed human clinical trials for medical marijuana. While researchers are working together with entrepreneurs and investors to search for the best application of medical marijuana. The researches also continuie to purify marijuana so it can be administered in accurate doses with minimum side-effects.

However there are doctors who opposed the use of marijuana. Those who are against marijuana usage have concerns regarding the addiction issue and behavioral problem caused by marijuana. Meanwhile the medical marijuana research continue to advance in Israel and attracting many U.S. investment.

U.S. firms have invested around $50 million in licensing Israeli medical marijuana R&D since 2014. The investment was spent in various researches, from licensing Israeli medical marijuana patents, cannabis agro-tech startups and firms developing delivery devices such as inhalers.

CEO of iCAN Saul Kaye at CannaTech conference expected the investment to expand. The event is  the largest conference of medical marijuana expert helds on March 7 to 9 in Tel Aviv. As reported by Medical Daily, Saul Kaye said, "I expect it to grow to $100 million in the coming year."

U.S. firms are looking into Israeli advanced research on medical marijuana due to the restriction in the United States. Director of Medicinal Plant Research at Heliospectra Suzanne Sisley shared her experienced. Dr. Sisley is a U.S. psychiatrist who researched the effects of cannabis as a treatment for American military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

"In the United States it's easier to study heroin than marijuana," she said as quoted by Reuters.

"With marijuana you have to go through added layers of government red tape. It highlights the way marijuana research is being shackled by politics," she said further.

Therefore, U.S. firms are looking to Israel for its study on medical marijuana. As the leader in advanced  agricultural technology, Israel is also the pioneer and leader in medical marijuana R&D.

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