Shalom Life | May 29, 2015

Israel's First Marijuana Tech Conference Draws Quite the Crowd

Cannabis tech is the lowest-hanging fruit today, because medical marijuana growers adopt new technologies much faster, says one investor

By: Abigail Klein Leichman

Published: February 11th, 2015 in Business » Israel

A standing-room-only crowd of venture capitalists and angels, agricultural technology investors and innovators, medical doctors, medical cannabis researchers and licensed growers came to Jaffa last week for Israel’s first Canna Tech conference.

“You find Israelis everywhere in the cannabis scene as master growers and investors. They have this world of knowledge and we want to connect them to one another and to investors,” says event organizer Karin Kloosterman, a former writer at ISRAEL21c, whose startup Flux is close to producing a product to simplify hydroponic (on-water) home farming as tomorrow’s environmentally friendly alternative to conventional agriculture.

“My mission is to create a tool to feed the world, and I think what’s happening in the cannabis community can be a model for that,” she tells ISRAEL21c. “Legal cannabis growers in North America have been using hydroponics for the past 15 years.”

David Oren, managing partner of Montreal-based Israeli VC firm Pirveli Ventures, tells ISRAEL21c that he came to Canna Tech because one of his portfolio companies, FloraFotonica, is developing an inexpensive LED light system for indoor urban gardening.

“When we invested in the seed round of this agro-tech company, we were not thinking about cannabis at all. But when we started looking at the market, suddenly we saw that the medical cannabis world is such a good match,” he says.

“And it is the lowest-hanging fruit right now, because medical cannabis growers have money and they are willing to adopt new technologies much faster than other kinds of growers,” says Oren. “There is a lot of buzz among US investors about this.”

In the United States alone, legal cannabis is expected to be a $40 billion market by 2020.

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Via ISRAEL21c

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