In a move that surprised nobody watching the global medical cannabis market right now, Israel, home of all things medical cannabis, has decided to move into the ex-im space. It is a definitive wake up call to governments globally that the era of medical pot has now dawned.
More than this, however, the move also cements Israel’s position globally as the leader in the research and testing world internationally. In 2016 alone, foreign companies poured about $100 million into the domestic industry with eyes on exactly this prize.
The impact on growing and testing, as well as pharma development, is going to be significant. Everywhere. The sophisticated genetic engineering, growing and hydration tech developed in a country that has few competitors globally as it is.
On top of this, Israel is a country where agriculture itself has been stamped with a desert environment. If nothing else, growers from several U.S. states alone now have a sourcing destination for equipment to meet the new challenge they now face – from actually growing the plant to processing it for consumption. They are also looking for sophisticated partners to help distinguish themselves in places where everything the Israelis have now been developing for decades, is suddenly immediately applicable and marketable.
Israeli entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are raised with a keen understanding of the domestic economic reliance on export. The United States, in particular, has long been a favorite destination for innovative Israeli firms who in some cases, like California, can sell to entire state-wide markets that are far bigger than the entire population of Israel. Israeli firms also have an advantage that American firms do not. They are based now in a market where cannabis is already a legitimate bedrock of the domestic economy – not an “orphan” multi-billion dollar business still seeking federal legitimacy. They can bring legitimate equity into the U.S. market, even not in the form of “direct investment.”
Such firms are also now fully linked to the biggest and hottest federal markets outside the United States. Australia (also a desert climate) is now in the process of setting up domestic cultivation. Germany, where diplomatic ties on the scientific and research front have steadily been developed as a matter of national priority since the end of WWII is already hungry for product and technology as it sets up its own program. Canadian firms right now are on their own edge of expansion few industries have seen for a long time. Anywhere and at any time.
Bottom line? As Israel now moves to export such knowledge, technology, and product to a world that is hungry for it, it will also have the ability to unleash the medical might behind half a century of research kept bottled behind Prohibition.