Israeli Medical Cannabis Pioneer Hit with ‘Temporary Closure’

Written by: Matt Lamers – Marijuana Business Daily

The largest supplier of medical marijuana in Israel is not distributing or selling products from its facility in Biriya after the Ministry of Health raised questions over a new drying process – but the company expects the facility to be up and running in a matter of days.

Tikun Olam CEO Aharon Lutzky said the company has been cooperating with the ministry and is awaiting test results from an independent laboratory.

“Until these results are approved, no products that were subject to the inspection will be distributed or sold,” he said in a statement to Marijuana Business Daily.

A source in the Ministry of Health confirmed the decision was made by the medical cannabis unit. The source, who is not authorized to speak with the media and thus requested anonymity, said the problem is “expected to be solved within a few days.”

Tikun Olam is considered a pacesetter in the treatment of patients with medical cannabis.

The company has about 15,000 of Israel’s 38,000 cannabis patients.

Stephen Gardner, Tikun Olam’s chief marketing officer, said the company expects to have the lab results Sunday.

“The ministry came in, looked at the drying technique that we were doing and said we need to have it tested before it can be processed,” he said.

CEO Lutzky said the production facility in Biriya recently adopted new methods of drying cannabis to speed production time due to soaring demand for the company’s products.

“Tikun Olam stands by that there was and will be no situation in which we will provide to our patients anything other than a high-quality product that meets the strict standards set by the Ministry of Health,” he said.

The Calcalist, a daily business newspaper, reported that the “temporary closure” will be in effect until the issue is resolved.

The Calcalist reported last week that Tikun Olam received the first license in Greece to grow and export medical cannabis to Europe.

Tikun Olam’s international network also includes an exclusive alliance with Canada’s MedReleaf, a licensed producer of medical marijuana now owned by Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis.

Matt Lamers can be reached at mattl@mjbizdaily.com