U.S. investment firms have increasingly looked to license marijuana technology from Israel, where a booming cannabis research field has made strides in the past several years, Reuters reported Wednesday. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Israel, and many of the nation’s innovations have not been as profitable as their creators had hoped, leading top researchers to look to export their ideas outside the country.
“The main big opportunity in Israel is for [investment] funds to come in here, and get on the ground floor in the scientific research being done. But that is a long-term play, and more capital-intensive,” said Eli Gordis, Israeli founder of private equity firm Alta Fund, Quartz reported earlier in March.
Marijuana is a $15 million to $20 million industry in Israel, where fewer than 25,000 people have medical marijuana licenses. In the U.S., by contrast, the legal marijuana industry is already valued at $5.7 billion and is expected to