Food products with cannabis are beyond a doubt the hottest subsector among startup industries around the world. The market in the USA, where revenues are expected to top $5 billion in 2025, just recently received broader regulatory approval in most of the fifty states – particularly for hemp products, which the newly enacted Farm Bill frees up considerably.
Here in Israel, meanwhile, a startup named Cannibble Food-Tech has been established, by serial entrepreneurs who already scored an exit in the field of food and cannabis, to introduce cannabis-enriched food products and food supplements to the socially engaged market and the wellness market.
These entrepreneurs bring broad accumulated knowledge from 35 years as owners, founders, manufacturers, and sellers in the field of food specialties around the world, including products for American market giants such as Walmart, as well as wide-ranging knowledge in the cannabis area and accumulated experience in the fields of Israeli and global regulation, cannabis infrastructures, delivery, development, research, and more.
The man behind Cannibble is Yoav Bar Joseph (47), founder and CEO of the company, who is also the founding partner and CEO of Blueberries, a leading company in development of food products and beverages. Blueberries has developed hundreds of food and beverage products for food chains and for leading brands and companies in Israel and worldwide.
Bar Joseph commands more than 20 years of experience running companies in the food industry. He specializes in business development, international sales, and strategic cooperation, and has extensive experience in setting up international agencies and representative offices in the field of food.
Currently Cannible (from “Cannabis” + “Nibble”) is working toward the opening of a cannabis facility in the USA for cannabis-enriched food products, on its way to becoming a leading international brand. The plantations and oil processors will provide the raw materials from the cannabis plant in accordance with the company’s quality requirements. All the Cannibble products will be quality-controlled under local and international standards as customary in the manufacture of foods in general and cannabis-enriched foods in specific.
The company has completed the development stage. It has tens of products of different types at hand – beverages, baked goods, desserts, snacks, and spices – and has acquired extensive knowledge of additional products that are not among the few currently on offer to consumers. The products will be released to the US market in the coming months.
The cannabis market is speeding forward in Israel and elsewhere, with emphasis on three main points. The first emphasis is on expanding the market to new countries with medical cannabis and into markets that have successfully moved to full legalization, including Denmark and England for medical cannabis and New York and New Jersey which are beginning an age of legalization in the immediate present.
The initial smattering of exports and imports in the field of cannabis-based products is already in view, with Israel included, over the coming months. The second point of emphasis is the tremendous expansion in products that are based on CBD and on hemp oil, the component considered the most therapeutic, the most healthful, and a new kind of superfood. The third emphasis is on cannabis-enriched food products – a new class of products on the market, not more products for smoking. They are the fastest-developing subsector in the cannabis market.
The burgeoning of hemp/CBD products in Europe and North America is an established phenomenon that is redefining the expanding boundaries for cannabis. In fact, with a view to the future, that is the purpose behind the founding of Cannibble and that is its sole objective: producing unique cannabis food products enriched with hemp/CBD in accordance with regulations and with the personal consumption of each consumer.
The figures for 2017, in only four American states, show revenues of more than half a billion dollars in the cannabis-enriched food market, and the forecast in North America, with expansion in Europe, is a billion dollars in annual revenues by 2025 – and, of course, thereafter. In the coming five years, the CBD segment of the cannabis market alone is expected to grow at an amazing 55% per year.
Bar Joseph: “In the last two years the cannabis market, especially in North America, has involved tens, if not hundreds, of little local single-product manufacturers. Most of them developed under infrastructure manufacturers – “seed to store” – and that includes labs for producing cannabis oil.
"The market is still in its infancy, and no brand has a lead that spreads horizontally across the market as a known label for products, special strains, and so on. That’s exactly what distinguishes Cannibble from all the other manufacturers in the market: tens of different cannabis-enriched products, spread horizontally to establish a leading brand.”
Medical cannabis is one of the hottest topics in the headlines of recent years. Thus as the media increasingly publicize the advantages of the plant and its benefits to the various systems of the human body, the demand from patients for various cannabis-based products increases. One thing is important to agree on: cannabis is cannabis, and there is no such thing as medical cannabis. There is cannabis provided for medical purposes only.
The plant and the strain that are appropriate for a patient in order to assuage some medical symptom are exactly the same plant and strain that social users purchase for pleasure. Cannabis is intended to make medical symptoms less harsh; or in more professional language, to improve the patient’s quality of life.
The two most discussed substances today are cannabinoids of the THC and CBD types. Those two components have wide-ranging medical effects, together or individually, in contexts such as pain relief, combating stress, help against insomnia, easing inflammations, restoring bone tissue, fighting nausea and vomiting, and treating problems of epilepsy, skin problems, and much more. Still the unknowns outnumber the knowns, and most of the plant’s components, virtues, and capabilities have yet to be researched and revealed.
In Israel, some 15% of patients with permits are, for various reasons, not using their monthly allocation. What are the reasons? It is difficult to teach non-smoking patients to start smoking. We must remember that most people have never smoked anything. The odor clings to the clothing, smoking is difficult, and the patients who need to consume their dose during work are not interested in having the matter known to those around them.
The Ministry of Health and the Medical Cannabis Unit are implementing a policy of support for use of cannabis oil rather than inflorescences. And that being the case, with patients also consuming their cannabis in the form of oil on food or swallowed by itself, then why not in the form of good, tasty food?
In Israel, cannabis cookies are given only to child patients and not to other patients. Elsewhere, such products are widespread and in demand. On the shop shelves, products like chocolates, candies, cookies, brownies, and other foods – sweet foods, for the most part – can be found labeled with specific percentages of cannabis.
Cannabis-enriched foods are an accepted method of providing patients with the plant’s active ingredients, as an alternative to smoking. This option increases the population of patients, especially among the elderly, women with periodic pain (cannabis for a few days), and cancer patients who request cannabis against pain and have no desire to smoke. The patient’s choice should be among a variety of cannabis-enriched products corresponding to the patient’s dosage.
Roughly a month ago, the Cannibble Food-Tech company completed a very successful round of crowdfunding in Israel, with 760 cannabis investors supporting, seeing, understanding, and wanting to be – already, at the start of the journey – included in this dream and this gigantic industry. The company continues with further funding efforts in order to arrive more quickly, with more branding, and as broadly as possible in the marketplace, and on the shelves in North America to start with. You are invited to join in.