EPISODE #23 The Cannabis Industry in Israel with Avihu Tamir, CEO of Kanabo Research

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In this episode, we speak to Avihu Tamir, cannabis entrepreneur with over five years of hands-on experience in multiple Israeli medical cannabis ventures. Avihu is the founder and CEO of Kanabo Research, who are dedicated to unlocking Cannabis' secrets through science. Kanabo's R&D focus on developing medically-validated cannabis IP, primarily via extractions and delivery systems. Its mission is to meet the growing demand for non-smoking alternatives and license its IP to global partners.

Together, we dive into the Cannabis market in Israel, discovering how this unique market differs from its European counterparts, and finding out what research is currently taking place.

Podcast Episode Summary 

  • Avihu is the CEO of Kanabo Research, who focus specifically on the vapourisation of Cannabis. Kanabo have been developing a medical device which allows metered doses through inhalation which holds a medical device certificate. 

  • The company also medically validates, and patents formulations of medical cannabis extracts designed to target specific Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, through preclinical and clinical trials.

  • It has been very difficult for doctors to prescribe cannabis due to limited research regarding which doses and strains to prescribe for specific ailments, Kanabo’s work specifically addresses this problem.

  • Kanabo partners with several growers of raw materials, but provides protocols, formulas and formulations to their clients.

  • Avihu used to work as a Senior Consultant for global consultancy firm Accenture but he found he didn’t have the drive to wake up each morning wanting to go into work. He left the corporate lifestyle and started working within startups in Israel.

  • Israel have an incredible history with cannabis. THC, the psychoactive chemical component in cannabis, was first isolated by Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem's Center for Research on Pain and Yechiel Gaoni of the Weizmann Institute in 1964. The endocannabinoid system was also first found by researchers in Israel.

  • Cannabis research has historically taken pace in Israel, which means the government and the ministry of health are very open and willing to help those who are contributing to the cause. Kanabo currently hold three licenses to research cannabis, these are for developing a medical device, extraction and formulation, and for preclinical trials.

  • A survey in 2017 found that 8.88% of Israelis use cannabis, 16th place among the world's nations surveyed (the highest rates of annual cannabis usage in the world being found in Iceland and the US at 18% and 16% respectively).

  • Avihu predicts that in the future, Israel will become home to a very advanced medical cannabis program. 

  • Considering Israel is at forefront of medical cannabis research,CBD is not considered a wellness supplement or medical product and is under the same regulatory level as THC - it is prohibited.

  • Avihu predicts that the European market will develop in a different direction than the North American markets, he states that we will see some recreational markets across europe within the next 3 years, but the European market will mostly develop in to a medical market. He also predicts that North America will see a widespread recreational market within the near 5-10 years.

Quotables

  • The cannabis market is much much bigger than just getting high. 18:40


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