Israeli startup making cannabis-enriched pizza and popcorn
Cannibble has raised $1 million from more than 1,000 backers in a crowdfunding effort.
We've all heard of pizza topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers. But how about adding some cannabis on that slice?
That's exactly what a new Israeli startup is hoping to do. The cleverly named Cannibble is working on cannabis-infused toppings, beverages, sweeteners, cakes and desserts. In other words, everything from popcorn to iced coffee.
"We want to make it accessible," said Ziv Turner, one of the company's co-founders. "We look at the food products only as the delivery system." Cannibble's products – ranging from donuts to spices – will be infused with Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They plan on launching a series of foods for athletes as well.
The Tel Aviv-based startup announced last month that they had raised $1 million from more than 1,000 backers in a crowdfunding campaign to help launch their line. An increasing interest for edible cannabis items has buoyed the new company.
The recreational use of cannabis is legal in about a third of U.S. states – including California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Canada passed a law legalizing it last year. In total, the edible cannabis market is estimated to be around half a billion dollars a year. Cannibble plans on opening a factory in Miami soon to fulfill orders for customers in North America.
Israel, in particular, has been at the forefront of the cannabis movement. The Mediterranean country already allows for the use of medical cannabis and recently decriminalized recreational use as well. Hundreds of farms have cropped up to help fill the demand locally, as well as for export. Israel is the third country in the world, after the Netherlands and Canada, to allow the export of medical cannabis products.
An agricultural engineer inspects marijuana plants at the BOL (Breath Of Life) Pharma greenhouse in Israel in 2016. The previous year, doctors prescribed the herb to about 25,000 patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases in Israel. (Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam – who still teaches at Hebrew University – is widely considered the "Grandfather of Medical Marijuana." His leadership in the field, combined with the technological advancements being done there, led Rolling Stone magazine to dub Israel the "medical weed wonderland." At this year's OurCrowd investor summit in Jerusalem, an entire pavilion was devoted to cannabis tech.
"The seriousness with which the Israeli scientific community approaches this is incomparable," Charles Pollack, director of the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, told Rolling Stone. "Israel is a hotbed of quality cannabis research, because they have a much more favorable regulatory climate for doing serious scientific research on medical cannabis."
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