Pot gets start-ups buzzing

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY NATHAN JEF­FAY

MOVES ARE un­der way to har­ness the push by Is­raeli start-ups to rev­o­lu­tionise the cannabis in­dus­try.

A con­fer­ence of 750 peo­ple, the In­ter­na­tional Sum­mit for Ac­cel­er­at­ing Cannabis In­no­va­tion, will take place in Tel Aviv in March, with par­tic­i­pants from Amer­ica, Aus­tralia, the UK, Fin­land and else­where. It is be­ing or­gan­ised by iCAN, a new com­pany es­tab­lished to boost cannabis in­no­va­tion.

One of the com­pany’s founders is Clifton Flack who moved from Lon­don to Is­rael 10 years ago. For him, cannabis is “the most ex­cit­ing in­dus­try I have seen”.

He ar­gues that while med­i­cal cannabis is be­com­ing more ac­cepted — this week, med­i­cal mar­i­juana shops opened in Illi­nois — grow­ers have re­mained un­der­ground. As a re­sult, he said, cannabis farming has not been ex­posed to re­search and in­no­va­tion. Mr Flack is con­fi­dent that re­search will lead to cannabis be­ing grown faster, be­ing pro­cessed more ef­fi­ciently, and med­i­cal pa­tients get­ting more out of the drug.

“Doc­tors will al­ways strug­gle to pre­scribe a bag of grass,” he said. Asked how a 42-year-old, kip­pah-wear­ing fa­ther of four came to be in­volved in the cannabis in­dus­try, he said: “I love the ex­pres­sions I get when I say I’m in this in­dus­try — peo­ple’s per­cep­tion is that it’s a stoner drug, and they don’t yet understand the in­dus­try and how it can help peo­ple.”

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