Israel's premier cannabis company, Tikun Olam, is now expanding into California. Already with locations in Delaware and Florida, Tikun Olam will serve California's adult use market, providing the entire state with cannabis products backed by the cutting edge medical research happening back home in Israel.
In the desert of Adelanto, outside Los Angeles, Tikun Olam is growing and manufacturing products for the California market out of a 14-acre complex, featuring an 80,000-square-foot state-of-the-art greenhouse and a 34,000-square-foot production and extraction facility.
"In regard to the similarities with what's going on in Israel and in California, it's the same proprietary genetics, working with the same intellectual property formulations for products that are backed by our research," says Stephen Gardner, chief marketing officer at Tikun Olam USA. They're even using the same equipment in California as they do across seas, including a supercritical fluid network and carbon dioxide extraction machines.
By using the same cannabinoid and terpene formulations in California as in Israel, along with the same equipment, Gardner explains, "we can provide our patients with the same level of consistency and continuity that we use for all our research, studies, and products that we're developing out of Israel."
Unlike in the United States, Israel's medical cannabis program is federally legal. State-regulated cannabis companies, like Tikun Olam — which in Hebrew means "repair the world" — work in conjunction with doctors, scientists, and university researchers to investigate how different kinds of cannabis best treat different conditions, and how to develop products to reflect these findings. Indeed, Israel has been leading the world in medical cannabis research since the early 1960s when chemist Raphael Mechoulam, now a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, became the first person in the world to isolate THC — the cannabis plant's primary, psychoactive compound.
In California and other states, Tikun Olam USA offers six proprietary strains: Alaska (sativa), Midnight (sativa), Or (indica), Erez (indica), Eran Almog (indica), and the high-CBD, award-winning Avidekel. Over the past two decades, Tikun Olam has been working to improve these strains' efficacy for the symptoms of various disease states, Gardner explains, using the world's largest database of cannabis research.
Currently available in seven California dispensaries, over the next few months during the course of Tikun Olam's soft launch throughout the state, the company's products will be stocked in 40 to 50 dispensaries throughout Los Angeles. While flower and edibles will not be part of what's initially offered, Tikun Olam will provide California consumers with tinctures, topicals, and vaporizable oils.
What's different about Tikun Olam's products, however, compared to those of any other cannabis brand is that their efficacy is proven by clinical trials happening in Israel. Two studies on autism, for instance, have shown a correlation between the use of Avidekel and a 90 percent improvement in quality of life. "We took the same exact formulation of what the research was done on and introduced that here in California," says Gardner.
"Working with our patients, we've been able to in essence log a large database and find, for example, that when we're looking for anxiety treatment, 77 percent of patients found a significant improvement using the Erez strain," he adds, noting that another 80 percent of depression patients found significant improvement in their condition using the Alaska strain. And in another study looking at 1,000 patients with terminal cancer, 36 percent of medical cannabis patients were able to quit opioids, instead using marijuana as a tool for pain management.
Over the past two decades, Tikun Olam has tracked the progress of more than 20,000 patients in Israel — using the benefit of both legal access to clinical research and the patients' anecdotal reports — in order to piece together reliable data on how their proprietary strains work.
Representing about 40 percent of the medical cannabis market share in Israel, Tikun Olam also has agreements in the states of Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, and is expanding out into Australia, England, and Greece, as well.
Validated by clinical science, Tikun Olam is changing the conversation around medical cannabis — using data and research to remove the stigma and position cannabis as a pharmaceutical, consumer product.