Medical cannabis has long been the preferred solution for patients weary of side effects from prescription drugs. As understanding grows regarding the benefits of the plant in treating a variety of medical indications, and regarding its enormous economic potential in that area, a number of Israel companies have commenced activity in the spheres of cultivating and extracting medical cannabis products in Israel.
Many investors on the Israeli stock exchange have noticed the activity of the various companies engaging, or planning to engage, in medical cannabis cultivation in Israel among other operations. Amid the welter of cannabis companies, some are active in developing and entrenching the Israeli cannabis industry — the next generation of Israeli cannabis companies. Prominent among those companies is Cannassure Therapeutics (TASE symbol: CSURE), which is active in cultivation, extraction, and production of medical cannabis products.
The company is controlled by Solbar Food Technologies Ltd., Israel’s largest manufacturer of edible oils. The Cannassure group intends to operate throughout the medical cannabis industry’s value chain. The group possesses preliminary and temporary approvals for reproduction, cultivation, production, and storage of medical cannabis products, and strategic cooperation in the realm of distribution with Hadassah Medical.
The Cannassure group is taking steps toward indoor cultivation of medical cannabis under the IMC GAP standard. The cultivation is to take place in a building that is at the company’s disposal and that previously served Solbar in the manufacture and export of protein for food additives and for the food industry, over an area of up to 4,000 sq. m.
The cultivation building’s proximity to the Cannassure extraction facility will make for considerable savings in the cost of security and transport for the raw materials and medical cannabis products within Solbar’s secured compound. The Cannassure group estimates that production of the medical cannabis products will commence in the second half of 2019. The two buildings are supported by Solbar’s extensive industrial infrastructure, including connection to natural gas, water purification by reverse osmosis for irrigation, and a waste management system.
In the initial stage, Cannassure intends to undertake extraction of medical cannabis oil at an annual volume of several tons; and the anticipation is that later, in accordance with demand, the company will raise the production volume significantly.
By indoor cultivation in a closed, controlled building, the annual yield can be increased significantly as compared with cultivation in open fields or hothouses (ranging around 6 crops as against two or three in a standard hothouse), and the inflorescences can be kept clean of pesticides, of pests, and of damage from nature. Moreover, with this method the replicability of the inflorescence is significant, thanks to the control over the plant’s growing conditions: lighting, temperature, humidity, and more.
In order to work toward a strong and stable position as a central player in the cannabis industry, Cannassure has joined with Hadassah Medical in a strategic marketing and distribution agreement. The agreement gives Cannassure an exclusive license to market, distribute, and sell medical cannabis oils with use of the Hadassah Medical brand in Israel and elsewhere, as well as the opportunity to distribute the cannabis products via the Hadassah Medical distribution channels in Jerusalem and Ramat Gan.
Cannassure Therapeutics chairman Nir Peles: “Cannassure is a different company, unique in the local arena of cannabis companies. When we started working with cannabis, we decided to adhere to the highest standards and the strictest regulations, and to that purpose we are currently setting about to start indoor cultivation.
The Cannassure team consists of people with interdisciplinary knowledge in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, industry, and medical cannabis. In addition, Solbar Food Technologies, Cannassure’s parent company, has for 57 years been manufacturing raw materials and solutions for the food and food additives industry, and its extensive experience will help us in this task.”