As more states move to legalize recreational use of marijuana — there are nine now, plus the District of Columbia — and dozens more who now allow medical use (with a doctor’s prescription), tech innovators are not waiting for the law to catch up with public sentiment. One of the more notables is the launching of CIF (Can Innovation Finder), a new Canadian-Israeli-American initiative that aspires to be the virtual R&D hub for all-things pot. If it’s better quality, higher yield, and packaging you’re looking for, CIF hopes to be the dominant source in filling those needs.
Right now, the United States is playing a secondary role as it continues to lag behind Canada in market maturity, including industry standards, the emergence of trade associations and other institutions commonplace in any industry’s ecosystem. So essentially, the partnership’s muscle is between Canada and Israel with Canada supplying the product and an already viable market, and Israel focused on R&D like most any other industry for which it is a global force.
“There are incredible partnership opportunities for companies on both sides, and Canadian Licensed Producers can gain a huge market advantage by tapping into Israel’s tech ecosystem,” says CIF CEO Sarah Tahor. “Our role is to highlight opportunities that the market may not know about and provide the platform to enable new partnerships and business ventures. With contracts in place with the LPs to introduce them to multiple Israeli companies, we save them time and ensure they have access to top Israeli cannatech (cannabis tech), agri-tech and biotech innovation.”
Indeed, Israel is a sought-after partner in the cannabis industry thanks to its renowned scientific innovation and tech expertise to grow consistent, high-quality, and varied strains of cannabis.
“There are tons of companies that deal specifically with technologies focused on growing and agriculture; some are focused on soil quality and climate control of greenhouses while others are focused on humidity and lighting,” Oren Todoros, CEO of CannaImpact branding firm, tells NoCamels. He says there are between 70-100 cannabis-related ventures in Israel. “Despite the fact that there is no external export, there’s a lot of growing technologies being produced here for the global cannabis market.”
On the US front, agreements have been inked with Massachusetts-based holding company MariMed, to cultivate, manufacture and sell the Israeli company’s MMJ products in seven US states.
As for the rest, the partnerships are almost exclusively between Canada and Israel. But despite its slowness to market, driven by a host of statewide legal hurdles, don’t expect this mainly bilateral arrangement to stay that way for long.