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Israeli experience supporting hemp startups


The creation of a hemp incubator is an innovation on the market , however, it is financial support for the development of promising startups that speaks about the attitude of government agencies to the problems of the industry , as well as the prospects for investing in this sector of the economy .

Israeli experience supporting the rapidly growing hemp market is unique. Today it is difficult to imagine that the government of any other country has been so active in the issue of supporting the hemp industry , and especially in the financially intensive areas of technological research of the properties and characteristics of plants to use its potential primarily in the medical field . It is worth noting that hemp plant is illegal in Israel for use in recreational and other purposes not regulated by law , although in the spring of 2019 in the countryThe process of decriminalizing the use of cannabisa for certain populations has begun . 

Today, the Israeli government is not afraid to deal with cannabis production , because it sees the prospects and the need to maintain a leading position in the industry. For example, the State of Innovation Management Israel (Israel Innovation Authority) provides financial support to the incubator CanNegev, named in honor of the Negev desert.

Each of the six initial startups considered to support within the framework of CanNegev, the number of which will eventually increase to 30, will receive a target loan of up to 1 million shekels (about $ 290 thousand) for using the above financial resource for research and development in the field of modern hemp breeding , which they can spend throughout the year. The government will invite specialized companies from various fields of activity ( pharmaceuticals , cosmetology , food technology ) from different countries and continents to join the investment in the “hemp incubator” . It is expected that the level of joint investment in this project will be about 130 million shekels (about $ 38 million). 

When asked why companies from completely different areas of production are invited to submit applications for the “ hemp incubator ”, the organizers operate on the thesis that the plant has a lot of little-studied areas of use and it is necessary to study as many potentially promising areas as possible . 

To get the right to participate in the “ hemp incubator ”, startups must be registered in Israel , as well as have an innovative focus . In the incubator, there are no restrictions on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the studied hemp varieties . Companies may own their own intellectual property rights , although in the event of revenue they will be forced to use royalties to repay the state loan.

The incubator itself, as a legal entity, will receive state support for up to five years with the possibility of its extension for three years. Within the framework of the project , the general and technical director - business development specialists in this field of activity will be hired . It is planned to invest up to 1.5 million shekels in each new startup , providing services in kind - open access to laboratories and equipment . On the territory of the incubator there will also be a mini farm for growing live plant samples . 

Commentary experts of the Association "Ukrainian industrial hemp"

It is Israel’s specialists who are among the first scientists in the world who have studied in detail the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol components on the human body back in 1964. In the early 90s, an endocannabinoid system was discovered in Israel , which every person and most mammals have , and which includes a group of receptors for the recognition of cannabinoids and their assimilation by the body. 

The main factor in supporting hemp breeding in Israel is the strong economic motivation for developing the industry through the prism of introducing innovative ideas that are already beginning to be profitable today and are in demand by various international companies. It is worth noting that the Government of Israel is implementing a program for the uniform development of all districts of the country , and therefore actively supports hemp incubator in the southern region, where agricultural development is ineffective. 

The creation of a  hemp incubator  is an innovation on the  market , however, it is  financial support for the  development of  promising startups that  speaks about the attitude of government agencies to the  problems of the industry , as well as the prospects for  investing in this sector of the economy .

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