Already a pioneer in high-tech and cutting-edge agriculture, Israel is starting to attract American companies looking to bring medical marijuana know-how to a booming market back home.
Since 2014, US firms have invested about $50 million in licensing Israeli medical marijuana patents, cannabis agro-tech startups and firms developing delivery devices such as inhalers, said Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN, a private cannabis research hub.
“I expect it to grow to $100 million in the coming year,” Kaye said at iCAN’s CannaTech conference in Tel Aviv this month, one of the largest gatherings of medical marijuana experts. Scientists say strict rules, some set by the Drug Enforcement Administration, limit cannabis studies in the United States, where the legal marijuana market is valued at $5.7 billion and expected to grow to $23 billion by 2020.
“In the United States it’s easier to study heroin than marijuana,” said US psychiatrist Suzanne Sisley, who has