- CannaTech 2018 was held in Tel Aviv, Israel, from 18 to 20 March.
- The forum brought together leading figures in the global cannabis industry.
- Among them, we had the chance to talked to Carola Pérez, president of the Spanish Observatory for Medical Cannabis (OECM), who shared her insights on the situation of cannabis in Israel with us.
Organised annually by iCan, CannaTech is an international forum that promotes innovation in the cannabis industry. For two days, industry professionals from across the world give presentations, showcase products derived from the sativa plant as well as ground-breaking contributions necessary for the growth of the industry and participate in meetings with other leading figures. This year, the event was held in Israel and brought together personalities as renowned as Steve DeAngelo, founder of the Harborside Health Center and co-founder and president of the investment group The Arc View Group, and Jeanne Mariani Sullivan, cited by Forbes as one of the women in venture capital that is changing the world. As usual, the event attracted a lot of press interest, with the professionalisation of the Israeli cannabis industry and other aspects of cannabis in Israel featuring regularly in the media.
Amidst this media frenzy, we had the chance to talk to the president of the Spanish Observatory for Medical Cannabis, Carola Pérez, who shared her insights on how the cannabis industry is progressing in Israel. "CannTech is a really well organised event," says Carola. "The cannabis industry in Israel is on another level, there are lots of ongoing studies. It was so nice to see that the OECM is internationally recognised, and that Manuel Guzmán is an authority in the country. I was impressed because I had no idea there were so many of us, and that our work is inspiring others, " adds Carola.
The President of the OECM was surprised that "nobody smoked joints" in CannaTech. "Everyone was vaporising, the atmosphere was so different to the situation in Spain. The environment was highly professional and very advanced technologically. Also, the investments and the respect for cannabis have nothing to do with what we see in Spain," says Carola.
The Medical Cannabis Unit of the Ministry of Health of Israel
In Israel, cannabis has its own unit in the Ministry of Health. This is based, among other things, on the principle that cannabis should, were possible, be regarded as any other medicinal product requiring monitoring and regulation in order to safeguard public health - Israel legalised cannabis both for medicinal and for recreational purposes on 6 March 2017.
As a result, the plant is subjected to the same protocol than any other medicine: scientific research, medical prescription and dose control.
While there are no data available on the amounts of cannabis or cannabis derivatives that are dispensed every year in Israel, or on the number of physicians that prescribe their patients with the substance, there are other clear indicators that the Israeli cannabis industry is a solid one. Not for nothing, it was in an Israeli University, more precisely in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, that Raphael Mechoulam first isolated THC in the 60's. The researcher and his team have also conducted some of the most relevant studies on CBD and its medical applications.