By / April 2, 2020

Israel’s Univo sent its first cannabis shipment to the Netherlands

A shipment, made by the company Univo, with 460 grams of cannabis flowers of the Titan strain, left Israel on Tuesday morning, March 26th, and arrived in the Netherlands. Although it is not a commercial shipment, it is remarkable as it’s the first time Israel exports cannabis.

The shipment arrived at Eurofins laboratories in the Netherlands for testing and certification in order to check if the cannabis flowers meet the GMP standard. While this standard is “lower” than the optimal EU-GMP standard, some countries, like Israel, allow cannabis imports that only meet this standard.

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Univo’s plan to export cannabis to other countries in Europe

Univo hopes to succeed in exporting cannabis inflorescences to other countries in Europe, as soon as the Ministry of Health approves it. Among other things, according to its stock exchange reports, the company is also targeting the German cannabis market, which is considered one of the strictest in the region.

“The cannabis flowers that Univo has exported will undergo quality testing, and after compliance, the company will be able to export medical cannabis to European countries that do not require EU-GMP regulation,” Cannabis magazine said. “At the same time, Univo is advancing its plant certification to the EU-GMP standard through a verified certification company, which will enable it to market its products in Europe and in other territories where this standard is required.”

The shipment included 46 “Titan” packages of the T20 / C4 category, which until recently was in short supply in Israeli pharmacies. The Ministry of Health apparently approved the export, even though other companies in Israel have imported hundreds of kilograms of this precise category. The companies imported T20/C4 category of cannabis flowers from Portugal (about 700 kg) and from Canada (250 kg).

Israel’s cannabis export permits delayed

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health continues to delay cannabis export permits overseas. According to the office’s CEO Moshe Bar, this is a sign that exports will only be possible after the local market stabilizes, both in terms of supply and cannabis prices for Israeli patients. They currently have to pay up to 4 times more than they previously paid.

Recently, the Ministry of Economy prepared a draft export order in an attempt to advance the permit. However, this appears to be only a matter of public relations and that without the approval of the Ministry of Health, this does not mean anything.

In a recent hearing in the High Court, the judges extended the old regulation until May, so it is likely that the new export permit will not be granted as soon as some companies are expecting it. However, Israeli cannabis companies continue to prepare for the day when they will be able to export.

Univo as the spearhead of Israel’s cannabis industry

Univo is the newest company in Israel to start marketing medical cannabis for patients, joining the other eight companies that have done this for over a decade. The company recently announced its plans to import about half a ton of GACP cannabis from the growing facility of the Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth located in Lesotho, Africa.

Univo’s market value is currently around $22 million (NIS 80 million), following sharp declines due to the coronavirus pandemic, which affected other cannabis stocks in Israel and around the world.

The company owns a cannabis plant and is currently setting up its own growing facility called “Amit Farm”. Meanwhile, Univo purchases cannabis from small farms, processes it at the factory and markets its products in pharmacies. In addition, a 140 square meter research and development lab is currently underway.

Recently, Univo reported that the Abyssror family, which operates in large-scale real estate, has become a stakeholder and holds over 5% in the company. The Abyssror family invested $3.2 million (NIS 12 million) in Univo and Amit’s farm.


(Featured Image by Eduardo Castro from Pixabay)

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