Isracann Closer to Greenhouse Construction as Israel Cannabis Market Heats Up
December 10th, 2019
App, Exclusive, News, Top Story
Israel has long been recognized for its pioneering contributions to research in the medical cannabis field. Recently, the state made its commitment clear to develop the sector by issuing a white paper on the opportunity to invest in Israeli cannabis. That was followed by the largest medical-marijuana merger ever in the country, with Cannbit Pharmaceuticals buying Tikun Olam’s Israel operations for up to $41.5 million, as excitement percolates over the underserved domestic market and upcoming cannabis exports.
In April, the Israeli government became only the third country in the world to legalize medical cannabis exports with expectations for the framework to be in place in 2020. The country is following in the footsteps of Canada, which witnessed its medical marijuana exports triple in 2018.
A supportive government, a rich cannabis technology history, upcoming exports and nearly perfect climate for greenhouse cannabis cultivation were enough to incentivize Isracann Biosciences (CSE: IPOT) (OTC: ISCNF) to set up operations in Israel. Led by a management team that has decades of combined experience in the legal Canadian markets, Isracann is fully funded for a 230,000 square-foot facility in southern Israel with annual capacity up to 23,500 kilograms of dried cannabis flower.
In the last week of November, Isracann management checked another box to move closer to construction of the facility.
Maintaining High Standards
One of the benefits of maneuvering through cannabis legalization across Canada for the last decade is Isracann management knows to be meticulous in moving forward. To that point, the company retained the cannabis and agronomy experts at LinC, a unit of LinC Grow Smart Ltd, architecture firm AgroPlan Ltd.and security company A.R. Factor Group to ensure the planned facility is designed and built to meet or exceed the complete gamut of industry, regulatory and environmental standards.
With intentions to supply both the Israeli and European markets in the future, Isracann plans to secure Israeli Medical Cannabis Good Agricultural Practices (IMC-GAP), Israeli Medical Cannabis Good Security Practices (IMC-GSP) and European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (EU-GMP) certifications for its cultivation and post-production facilities.
Moving Right Along
As should be expected, it’s a bit of a byzantine pathway to licensing and permitting a cannabis operation. With the help of LinC, AgroPlan and A.R. Factor, Isracann has expedited submissions to move forward with the facility, including submitting architectural, agronomic and security plans to the Israeli Land Authority about two weeks ago.
Now the company has received the facility design and land use approvals from the Israeli Land Authority necessary for construction permitting and awarding building contracts for the first phase of the 230,000 square-foot facility. Isracann already vetted proposals from domestic and international companies bidding on the project. Approvals are pending from the Israeli Settlement Commissioner and the Israeli Ministry of Health in order to begin construction.
“With this approval in place we have met the initial hurdles regarding land use. Now, we can get started with the next step of getting shovels in the ground and begin building our business,” commented Isracann CEO Darryl Jones in a news release.
The plans call for the greenhouse to be built in Nir, Israel, a small cooperative agricultural community called a moshav. Phase I involves the fabrication of two greenhouses up to 57,500 square-feet each (for a total of 115,000 square feet) with estimated annual capacity of 5,750 kilograms (11,500 kg combined) of dried cannabis flower.
Each greenhouse will feature a highly ventilated framework with curtains on all four sides of the vaulted roof configuration. The roof design utilizes polyethylene sheets specifically installed for cannabis cultivation in Israel that maximizes the unique sunlight exposure in the country. Three types of fans will be used as part of the cooling and ventilation system to assist in optimizing temperature, humidity and radiation throughout the facility.
A packing facility includes a 6,500 square-foot post-harvest area with drying, curing and trimming rooms, as well as office space and a kitchen for employees.
The entire facility will be secured by an 8’ tall fence with an electronic gate for vehicle access and a closed-circuit television system.
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