This is also a topic that, depending on where you have the conversation, is likely to take on a very different tenor. Why? Regulatory contexts, the reality of healthcare, and of course, federal reform are all important considerations.
Politics, of course, can’t be separated from any of this discussion either. Cannatech is able to be exported in a manner that is significantly less contentious than the plant itself (at least from Israel to anywhere else). So instead of product, at least for the time being, Israel is exporting its best cannabis-related technology to other countries, and the front lines of the fight for vape technology are only beginning to be drawn.
Why Is Europe the Battleground?
While countries like Canada and Australia appear to be models of regulatory coverage and compliance when compared to the United States, Europe is the true prize in the highly lucrative global market for medical cannabis and devices. Why? Because the plant is increasingly becoming acknowledged as a medication, even though it is not yet licensed as such, and because vapes that operate well enough to produce consistent outcomes (like dosing) are pricey.
Vapes of a particular quality will undoubtedly be categorized as medical devices in Germany, and most likely elsewhere in Europe as well as the movement toward medical reform continues. It is possible that these vapes could be covered by insurance, which is one of the reasons why this potential clash is likely to feature a greater number of players and a greater amount of technological innovation.
Who Are the Principal Role Players?
Storz and Bickel, a German company, is currently the unchallenged kings of the present worldwide “medical vape” business, which is rather small when compared to other markets. If you are not familiar with them in this field, you are likely familiar with their other groundbreaking product, which is called The Volcano. They offer a complete line of consumer goods, all of which can be purchased through their online store; the regulations governing consumer safety in a variety of nations have been satisfied by these goods. However, in addition to that, they were an early pioneer in the medicinal vaping industry. In point of fact, the business manufactured their very first medicinal vaporizer in the year 2010. These days, they provide a comprehensive range of licensed medical devices that have been given the go-ahead for use as vaporizers for medical cannabis in Europe, Canada, and Israel. In point of fact, according to the certificate issued by the Israeli Ministry of Health to S&B that Cannabis Tech was able to procure, the company received authorization to operate in Israel as precisely this one year ago. The company was able to get a very precise authorization from Health Canada the previous year, and that license specifies that the product in question is a medicinal vaporizer for cannabinoids.
However, this is the point where everything starts to become unclear. Because of German law regarding the “advertising” of medicinal products or the use of the word “cannabis” as a word on any product, consumers are unable to locate this information readily available on promotional materials that are found online. Additionally, Storz and Bickel are required to upload the results of their medical research trials in Germany onto a website that is intended for for the use of medical professionals.
Here we have the first competitor to take this game seriously.
Kanabo Research is, of course, the Israeli company that is being referred to as the “interloper.” The company is currently in the process of establishing a partnership with a company based in the United States in order to set up a production farm in Europe. The company claims that its product, the Vape pod, is now the first medical cannabis vape to be approved by any federal agency in any country.
This picture was kindly provided by VapePod.
Surprisingly, the Ministry of Health granted what seems to be the first legitimate certification in this field to a German company called S&B, and they did so even earlier this year.
A Mishmash of Regulatory Requirements That Can Be Confusing
The idea of what a “medical vape” ought to be – or what it ought to be capable of achieving – is an entirely different topic. Although this is not a newly emerging industry, the technology involved is quickly advancing. And the “science” behind inhaling cannabis through vaping is still in its infancy. Even though Israel’s research and development program is decades older than that of any other nation’s, the Israeli government still looks outside the country for investment cash for research and development. This is despite the fact that Israel generally has the best R&D in the world on this subject. The majority of the funding for the cannabis program in Israel was initially provided by the United States government through covert methods during the initial phase of the operation. These days, it comes from individuals who have invested their own money. And a significant number of them have their sights set much further than what takes place in the cannatech sector in Israel.
In point of fact, up until this point in time, foreign investors in Israel’s cannabis business were similarly fashioning items and investing in them with the United States market rather than the European market in mind. Where, as we should not forget, there is also no federal reform, and there is no coverage for health insurance. And significantly less stringent controls on the process of releasing even a “medical” or “cannabis” product onto the market.
However, it appears that what Kanabo is doing is leveraging the medical certification from the Israeli government as a marketing weapon against the clear competitor in Europe in this field, which is S&B; in a region with completely different laws.
As the market continues to develop, that is not a strategy that can be expected to be successful for a very long time. In the meanwhile, be mindful that there is a possibility for hyperbole as the specialized market begins to carve out its own space for the first time. The occurrence of some instances that cannot be avoided.