With Israel having just approved medical cannabis to be exported, the United States is a destination for the Israeli firm Tikun Olam, which is Hebrew for the Jewish obligation to “repair, heal or fix the world.”
Although it is illegal under U.S. federal law, 33 states permit medical marijuana, including Washington state and Delaware, the only two states currently selling Tikun Olam’s line of oils, topicals and tinctures.
Its facilities in Southern California will be located in Adelanto and cost $20 million, while their operations in Florida will partner with VidaCann to create vape oils, tinctures, capsules and topicals that will be offered through the Jacksonville-based cannabis grower’s dispensaries and delivery service.
It is illegal in the United States to transport marijuana across state lines; therefore, the Israeli manufacturer will at least either build its own facilities or find partners in each state.
Tikun Olam chief marketing officer Stephen Gardner told Forbes contributor Julie Weed (yes, she says that is her real last name) that the brand is selling what “is genetically identical to what has been tested.”
“We aren’t saying our products are the only forms of cannabis that can be effective,” said Gardner. “It’s just that ours have been rigorously studied.”
He added that “we’re not competing with recreational brands. We are introducing products that are backed by science.”
Back home, Tikun Olam has been experimenting with 32 genetically unique strains of marijuana for assistance with diagnoses and side effects related to autism, cancer, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome, fibromyalgia and more.
The company funded a study at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva that discovered 30 percent of patients reporting significant improvement and 53.7 percent of patients reporting moderate improvement related to symptoms such as depression, seizures, restlessness, tics and rage attacks after taking the cannabidiol-rich treatment with an additional 1.5 percent THC on a frequent basis.
The study also showed that more than 80 percent of children with autism-related symptoms who took cannabis oil enjoyed moderate to significant improvement in their condition.