Israeli medical cannabis grower moves cultivation operations to Europe

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In what may become a precedent for Israel’s medical marijuana industry, one of the country’s newest cultivators has set up shop in Europe.

Together Pharma, a recently incorporated medical marijuana cultivation company in Israel, announced Sunday it would move some of its greenhouse operations to an unidentified country in the European Union, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Bureaucratic red tape and a failure to pass regulations that would allow Israeli growers to export cannabis products to legal markets abroad has prompted companies to consider moves like this one.

Israeli regulators said they would allow medical cannabis exports in 2018, prompting some medical growers to make huge investments in cultivation sites. But without export regulations, those growers could see their investments be for naught.

“The delays affect the money and the business,” Nir Sosinsky, managing director at Together Pharma, told the Post. “We don’t know what the government policy is – we can only guess.”

If the delays, which are blamed on the country’s Public Security Ministry, continue, other growers could follow Together Pharma’s move abroad, the newspaper reported.

Together Pharma signed a memorandum of understanding with one European Union country where it plans to build a 30,000-square-meter (322,917-square-foot) greenhouse, according to the Post.

The firm has also signed several other memorandums of understanding with foreign businesses and is building a greenhouse grow operation in Africa.

The company declined to identify the countries involved.