Israel holds int'l conference to promote diversity in cannabis industry

An exhibitor is seen at the Athens Cannabis Expo 2019 in Athens, Greece. More than 150 cannabis exhibitors from Greece and abroad participate in the Athens Cannabis Expo 2019 that runs till Jan. 13. / Xinhua

As the use of cannabis for medical purposes is made legal in multiple countries across the world,  Israel hosted an international cannabis technology conference to show the growing power of the herb globally.

The CannaTech Tel Aviv 2019 conference which was officially opened by Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was held on Monday and Tuesday and attended by more than 1,000 participants from 45 countries.

Professionals of pharmacy, biotechnology, agriculture and medicine from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America joined the fourth annual CannaTech conference.

The global cannabis market is currently worth 17 billion U.S. dollars and projected to grow to 150 billion dollars in three years. Barak, who is now the chairman of Israeli medical cannabis company CANNDOC, said in the near feature, one out of three worldwide would use cannabis products.

According to Saul Kaye, CEO, and founder of CannaTech, Israel needs to reform its legal cannabis framework to serve the country's 2 million consumers.

Israel passed legislation that facilitated access to the medical use of cannabis and decriminalized recreational use. It also allows the export of medical cannabis. However, critics say there is still a long way for proper regulation and legislation of the industry in the Jewish country.

Kaye founded CannaTech to educate the world about the cannabis revolution and showcase Israeli technology to international companies. "There are a bunch of scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs who are expecting to change the business in the world," he told Xinhua.

Natasha Ryz, chief science officer at Zenabis, a licensed producer of cannabis for medical use, took part in the conference.  Ryz and her team oversee cannabis analytics, extraction and product development. She said companies around the world focus on making cannabis oil.

The oil is necessary for producing cannabis sprays, pills, creams, electronic vapes as well as cannabis-infused food and beverages.

Israel expects to export the products to the EU, Australia, and more emerging markets, Kaye said. The industry is growing at an annual rate of 30 percent.

Global hemp and cannabis are expected to be a trillion-dollar business in 2020-2021, said Saul Singer, CEO, and founder of Cannabis Mercantile Trading Exchange.

Barak predicts that premium cannabis products will be developed with high quality and price in the future, whose diversity will attract more potential users.


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