The Israeli medical-marijuana firm – Together Pharma – said on Sunday that it would cultivate some of its cannabis plants abroad without specifying whereabouts of the new foreign site amid regulatory uncertainty in the country over cannabis exports.
The Israeli government took a complete U-turn after it reportedly told medicinal marijuana companies and farmers that their cannabis exports would be approved by 2018.
The government’s green signal pushed many Israelis to invest millions in pursuit of the “green rush.”
To curb any future losses, Together Pharma signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a foreign firm to establish a marijuana farm abroad, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Together Pharma’s CEO and co-founder told The Jerusalem Post that:
“Together Pharma is not dependent on [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”
In February, Israeli media reports said that Netanyahu had received a phone call from US President Donald Trump, telling him to stop any progress on legalizing the export of marijuana despite ministerial approval.
“Now, we’re depending on ourselves, and we can do whatever we want from another country. If we can do this from Israel, we’d be very happy, we love the country… But if there won’t be exports allowed from Israel, our company will earn money from another country.”
To Start Growing in Six Months
So far, the company is planning to spend about 4 million shekels or $1.5 CDN to construct 100 dunam (25 acres) of land.
The Jerusalem Post also reported that the site will initially grow 15 tons of marijuana annually, with up to 60 tons in total if Israeli export options do not go through.
Declining to specify the name of the foreign country, Bracha said the farm will start growing cannabis in about six months, expecting the first harvest to be complete in the first quarter of 2019.
With one 1 gram of medical marijuana selling for about $5 dollars, Bracha said he projects about $75 million in sales for the first year, with cultivation leading to $300 million in revenue eventually.
After its announcement, Together Pharma’s stock was up some 16.66% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as of closing.
“We still want to grow and we are growing marijuana in Israel, even if there are no exports from Israel,” Bracha said, ending on an optimistic note.
“We still believe that there will be exports from Israel, maybe in one year.”
The company was created following the recent merging of Together Startup Network and Globus Pharma.
If the government continues not allowing marijuana exports, more Israeli companies are expected to take Together Pharma’s lead.