A Pennsylvania cannabis cultivator soon will have an international partner in Israel.
Tikun Olam–which means “repair the world” in Hebrew–is a large-scale cannabis research firm in Tel Aviv, Israel. The company has developed dozens of its own strains that are tailored toward combatting anxiety, pain caused by cancer, nausea, depression, and other ailments.
The two companies are forming a partnership that will allow Tikum products to be produced and distributed by Ilera.
“We wanted to bring together the real science with real premium medicine,” Oludare Odumosu, chief operating officer for Ilera, told Philly.com. “That’s why we sought them out.”
Tikum has conducted large-scale clinical research studies on cannabis patients from Israeli medical centers, universities, and retirement homes. They have amassed data from approximately 20,000 cannabis patients. Although a majority of states have legalized the use of medicinal cannabis, the DEA still classifies it as a Schedule One narcotic. This has resulted in the United States lagging behind on cannabis research in comparison to Israel.
Tikun has also examined substituting cannabis for opioid-based medication for 3,000 cannabis patients. They have also been able to administer double-blind clinical studies examining the effects of cannabis on Crohn’s disease.
“By using specific strains, we were able to eliminate opioids in 36 percent of a test group,” Stephen Gardner, chief marketing officer for Tikun Olam USA, said. “They were able to move off opioids and use cannabis as a pain-relief management tool.”
Tikum and Ilera now will collect data about U.S. patients.
“We’re going to do a clinical research program on our own,” said Gardner, adding that Tikun’s senior management is rooted in the pharmaceutical industry. “They believe that, on their own, they can do trials that are important within the existing structure.”
Tikum has also partnered with dispensaries in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington, and Rhode Island. The company plans to collect patient data from those states, as well.