Ambitious Israeli company, Univo Pharmaceuticals, is poised to more than double their production in an efforr to meet demand from the fast-growing European market.
However, the stasis in Israeli politics means they are still waiting for the go-ahead to export home-grown cannabis. Founder and CEO of Univo, Golan Bitton, told CBD Testers it’s a ‘frustrating’ situation but believes their high-quality cannabis medicine is poised to storm the European market.
Speaking to us at the Europe CBD Expo event at the ExCel Centre in London last week he highlighted the dozens of companies exhibiting at the event.
CBD or Medical Cannabis?
‘What is he difference between all of these?’ He posed, ‘Very little, other than branding’ was his own response.
“With Univo we have cannabis medicine that was made for a headache, or another condition, approved in Israel to GMP standards, and having undergone trials approved by the Ministry of Health that show it is good for headaches.
“That’s not the case with some cannabis products, where were they grown? in Lesotho? or a private garden, somewhere? And where does it say it’s good for headaches, colitis or Crohn’s.
“With Univo, and in Israel in general, we have undertaken the clinical trials and we have the evidence. We are frustrated by the delay in securing export licences, but still excited the prospects that lie ahead.”
In April 2017, Israel gave medical cannabis companies the green light to start exporting their products, but this is still to be ratified into law after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s froze discussions, earlier this year.
Mr Bitton says when approved it will be looking to export to Germany, Holland and the U.K. where it has customers lined up in all three countries and is keen to talk with other potential partners.
“This is a business that was built to export, we can produce up to 40 tones now, but we have large clean rooms and can easily scale that up to 100 tonnes a year. Hopefully we will be in a position to begin exporting in 2020.”
Univo is a vertically-integrated medical cannabis company with cultivation, manufacturing and distribution facilities. It currently employs 22 people in Israel and has cannabis medication patents in Israel for skin lesions and colitis and is seeking others.
Mr Bitton added: “Our products are fully-tested and approved and it is our obligation to our patients to ensure we can deliver a medicine that will work for them. We like to think of it as a win-win situation for both us and our patients.”