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Ep.360: Yuval Landschaft, Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.360: Yuval Landschaft, Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency

Ep.360: Yuval Landschaft, Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency

The Director of the Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency, Yuval Landschaft returns to give both me and you a tour of Israel’s cannabis economy. Yuval invited me to host Israel’s medical cannabis event and while in town, he shared the latest on research, the market and how exactly the medicalization of cannabis is happening in Israel…and what that means for the rest of the world.

Transcript:

All right. So, we're in the car with the GPS. I'm just taking the microphones out because we're going from one facility to another, and we were talking about the books, right? The five books.

Yuval L.: No, we call it the cannacopeia, it's taken from pharmacopeia. In old Greece, pharma it's medicine, copeia it's how to make, and that's the relative to the cannacopeia, how to make cannabis, but medical-grade cannabis.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: And this is the five books, like we're calling it, the Torah.

Seth Adler: Yes, of course.

Yuval L.: Of the whole system, of the whole chain of cannabis. First, it's the GAP, the Good Agricultural Practice, how to grow from tissue culture to a flower. How to grow cannabis in good agricultural practices. The other one is GMP, Good Manufacturing Practice, what you just saw, and the other one is distribution, Good Distribution Practices. Of course, the good security practices we saw it also.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: But the Holy Grail, the crown of it, is the GCP, the Good Clinical Practices, called the Green Book.

Seth Adler: The Green Book is being put into effect. You are essentially welcoming-in physicians, to understand how to prescribe cannabis, and also really how cannabis is a medicine. Is that fair to say?

Yuval L.: Yeah, and how to use it, and in which indication to give it. And which kind of cannabis to use in indication. And where to begin it, and how to titrate the cannabis, how to make the titration with the cannabis amounts. And what happens if the amount is okay, but the potency is not enough? What if the potency is okay, but the amount is finished after 20 days? How to combine different cannabis products, when you know the differentiation between oil, but where would you put [sublingualar 00:04:03], or when you inhale a cannabis and cannabinoids. It's a lot of different situation, and all of this we teach the doctors. We teach them in a one month course. It's not month [inaudible 00:04:15], it's four meetings, but we make it on Fridays. We have here back in the car the Green Book translated to English because we are opening in a two-month time, also a course in English, for English speakers from other countries.

All right. So, we're in the car with the GPS. I'm just taking the microphones out because we're going from one facility to another, and we were talking about the books, right? The five books.

Yuval L.: No, we call it the cannacopeia, it's taken from pharmacopeia. In old Greece, pharma it's medicine, copeia it's how to make, and that's the relative to the cannacopeia, how to make cannabis, but medical-grade cannabis.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: And this is the five books, like we're calling it, the Torah.

Seth Adler: Yes, of course.

Yuval L.: Of the whole system, of the whole chain of cannabis. First, it's the GAP, the Good Agricultural Practice, how to grow from tissue culture to a flower. How to grow cannabis in good agricultural practices. The other one is GMP, Good Manufacturing Practice, what you just saw, and the other one is distribution, Good Distribution Practices. Of course, the good security practices we saw it also.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: But the Holy Grail, the crown of it, is the GCP, the Good Clinical Practices, called the Green Book.

Seth Adler: The Green Book is being put into effect. You are essentially welcoming-in physicians, to understand how to prescribe cannabis, and also really how cannabis is a medicine. Is that fair to say?

Yuval L.: Yeah, and how to use it, and in which indication to give it. And which kind of cannabis to use in indication. And where to begin it, and how to titrate the cannabis, how to make the titration with the cannabis amounts. And what happens if the amount is okay, but the potency is not enough? What if the potency is okay, but the amount is finished after 20 days? How to combine different cannabis products, when you know the differentiation between oil, but where would you put [sublingualar 00:04:03], or when you inhale a cannabis and cannabinoids. It's a lot of different situation, and all of this we teach the doctors. We teach them in a one month course. It's not month [inaudible 00:04:15], it's four meetings, but we make it on Fridays. We have here back in the car the Green Book translated to English because we are opening in a two-month time, also a course in English, for English speakers from other countries.

Seth Adler: There we go.

Yuval L.: In Israel we speak Hebrew, you know?

Seth Adler: Of course.

Yuval L.: And our doctors speak Hebrew, most of them.

Seth Adler: As far as those doctors are concerned, initially it was slow going in terms of getting them to understand what you were doing?

Yuval L.: No. The first courses we have not to beg, but to ask our doctors to join in. To understand that there's something in it.

Seth Adler: You were leaning forward, so to speak, to bring them in.

Yuval L.: It's a delicate American way to say it. In Israel, we just say we beg them to come. I have here also, this is the books of the courses.

Seth Adler: Literally.

Yuval L.: Yeah, this is the course of how to teach doctors to take care of the patients with the medical-grade cannabis, okay? And this is all the lectures inside. You can see it here.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Yuval L.: You can see this is the...all the-

Seth Adler: The agenda, so to speak.

Yuval L.: All agenda of the course.

Seth Adler: And I can see-

Yuval L.: Professor Mechoulam.

Seth Adler: There we go.

Yuval L.: Yeah, you'll see [inaudible 00:05:34].

Seth Adler: And so Professor Mechoulam, of course, had something to say, in regards to kind of putting this together?

Yuval L.: Of course. Professor Mechoulam is our great-grandfather.

Seth Adler: I say he's the Copernicus of cannabis, that's what I say.

Yuval L.: I think that you are right. You'll meet him tomorrow. You'll see.

Seth Adler: Of course. Again.

Yuval L.: Also, he's very, very nice, kindly, but it's his dream, of Professor Mechoulam, to make medicines out of this plant. But, you cannot make it because we know the entourage effect . It's not only one molecule. We have about 40 molecules in it. You know over 100 cannabinoids, but the major in each flower, this type cannabis, is about 40, depends [inaudible 00:06:21].

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: So, this entourage effect make a little bit problem, to how to make a medicine out of it.

Seth Adler: Because there is so much.

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: In a traditional medicine you've got one active ingredient.

Yuval L.: It's all explained very, very good in the entourage effect article, which also is a ... but in Israel we found out, with Professor Mechoulam's sorry, with Professor Ian Shapiro, which is the Chief of the Medical Council of all the Israeli doctors, and with Professor [inaudible 00:06:54], Dr. [inaudible 00:06:57] and myself, and we find out to accommodate, to estimate we call it. To get these 40 or 40-something cannabinoids to one number, and number called EP, estimate potency, and this is the holy ... this is not the holy. This is the bottom, the core, of the good clinical practices.

Seth Adler: This algorithm, right?

Yuval L.: Yes, this algorithm. The outcome of the algorithm because it's a number, and it emphasizes to let the doctors know how to move on step by step, where to begin to each indication, and where they should go, in their titration.

Seth Adler: Now, you mentioned that all the way at the top of the doctor community, of the physician community, that person has bought-in here in Isreal.

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: And so it makes it easier for physicians to kind of come along. So, now what are folks sharing with you? If you had, as you say, beg them to begin with, what are they saying to you now?

Yuval L.: So, in the first courses we just begged those doctors to come. In the second course we just have to ask them because people begin to speak, and to see also, doctors were speaking between themselves, and they understood what treasure of knowledge they're getting in these courses.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: Really, treasury of knowledge, and the third course it was easier, and the fourth course, we have really a full class of doctors. Now, we are forced to open the fifth course.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: And we have over 44 doctors in each class. Good teaching is if you have about 25 in each class. Now we have 44. The class is full.

Seth Adler: It's totally full, and now you're opening it up to other countries, other folks.

Yuval L.: This is going to be the sixth. We call it Vav, the sixth course.

Seth Adler: Okay. That's the Hebrew letter, right?

Yuval L.: Yeah, the Hebrew letter for six, and we're thinking that we're going to open it in about July, but it's also according to our governmental decision about export.

Seth Adler: Okay, so we have to wait on that. As far as physicians coming, now do physicians have to come to you, or are you gonna go to other countries? How is this gonna work?

Yuval L.: No. We are going to make a teach the teachers course.

Seth Adler: Teach the teachers.

Yuval L.: Those countries who approached us and want to adopt these good clinical procedures, they found some teachers. It's going to be a teach the teachers course.

Seth Adler: Understood.

Yuval L.: And then they will open their own.

Seth Adler: Schools?

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Is it public knowledge yet? Which countries are interested in participating?

Yuval L.: It's open, but a country can adopt this only after signing with us because it's government, a G2G agreement.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Yuval L.: This is a G2G agreement with them because all of the Green Book and all the cannacopeia, you have no copyrights.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: For nobody, and you have to give them the copyrights, and because we're governmental, you must have a G2G.

Seth Adler: Understood. And are there any G2G agreements that you have which are public that we can share or not yet?

Yuval L.: Not yet.

Seth Adler: Okay, that's fine. We went from, I guess a smaller manufacturing facility.

Yuval L.: Oh, I forgot the [inaudible 00:10:39] system.

Seth Adler: We'll do that maybe after the next one. Yeah? Or whatever. But we went from a smaller manufacturing facility and how we're going to a larger manufacturing facility.

Yuval L.: No, not only manufacturing facility. Now, we are going to see first a larger big scale, it's 100 dunam of cannabis farm.

Seth Adler: What is "dunam"?

Yuval L.: Dunam is, four dunams are ...

Seth Adler: A meter?

Yuval L.: No. A dunam is a thousand square meters.

Seth Adler: There we go.

Yuval L.: So, it's large. Really it's large.

Seth Adler: To say the least.

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Yuval L.: So, we're going to see this farm, a GAP farm; it's called BOL, Bread of Life; it's [inaudible 00:11:25]; and then we're going to see the same nearby, also a GMP facturing, which also is a...

Seth Adler: Now, yesterday was a big day because we brought the pharmacies into it, or at least one of them, right?

Yuval L.: Yesterday was a big day because we began, the first time that cannabis medical grade cannabis, was prescribed and sold to a patient in all the world, and it succeeded because we had all this chain of cannabis, or this all ecosystem, before we had to have the good GAP cannabis farms, and to have these factories, and to work these distribution systems, and to have it, and to teach the pharmacist all that. We have already finished also two courses for pharmacists.

Seth Adler: There we go.

Yuval L.: Not only doctors we teach, we teach also the pharmacist.

Seth Adler: Now, as far as those pharmacists are concerned, the product is already in the box, right? So as far as retailers are concerned-

Yuval L.: This is the [course 00:12:41] for pharmacist, you see it's much.

Seth Adler: Oh it's a much thicker.

Yuval L.: Much thicker, because we teach them much, but these courses we've finished already. Two courses we do it with universities, with The Hebrew University, which professor Mechoulam.

Seth Adler: Mechoulam of course.

Yuval L.: But we are opening now, two courses in two med schools. The first is in Technion in the...

Seth Adler: Hyper?

Yuval L.: In Hyper, and the second is in Tel Aviv university, and also Ben-Gurion of the Negev in the south University, is also where now they're making their agenda for the course.

Seth Adler: Now, these is a pharmacist course or what is it? What courses is it?

Yuval L.: It's a course for pharmacists, and for people who works in the health system.

Seth Adler: Health industry.

Yuval L.: Or health industry, but it's not the course for the doctors, because for the doctors, it's governmental, because we have to also authorize them to prescribe cannabis.

Seth Adler: Got it. So once we get down to the pharmacist, we don't have to authorize that pharmacist, but the pharmacist has to know?

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Understood.

Yuval L.: He cannot a sale cannabis products, unless he pass the course.

Seth Adler: Must he pass the course, he also does have to have certification from the government. The pharmacist himself or herself.

Yuval L.: From the University.

Seth Adler: From the university, which is essentially using your-

Yuval L.: It's combined with IMCA, the courses. We help them, we teach during the courses, but it's based on the university's facilities, and the manpower, and the tutors, and teachers, and whatever. But, we contribute.

Seth Adler: There we go. You mentioned the IMCA, the last time you and me had these microphones in front of us. We were at the IMCA headquarters which began with you and one chair, and when I went there I would say, maybe there were 12 people maybe right?

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: In that building, okay? And then now obviously we're growing, the books had just come out, the five books now we're actually using the books. How you feeling these days, about how things are going?

Yuval L.: Things are going faster than dream. It's in all over the world. Governments can make decisions, and when you have to pay to main directions, then it takes time. It takes time to get ready to it, and to begin to walk, and you have a lot of stoppers or deal breakers, like resources, and it's different kinds of attitudes to it. In Israel, we took the attitude of just running fast, and all the time exceeding. All the time we put more and more. It's like a... in special units in the army of Israel itself how to run this 1000 meter 10,000 meter. So the advice is, start as fast as you can, and all the time exceed. That's what we are trying to do.

Seth Adler: Now, it seems like, based on that military background and education, that I'm hearing, you say that you expected more hurdles maybe earlier. There haven't been as many hurdles, and then now is, we're getting to this hurdles is things in the way, right?

Yuval L.: Oh, yeah-

Seth Adler: So now is, we're getting to this decision on export which we'll see about, but now is, other governments are coming into it, maybe now is when we have to kind of-

Yuval L.: I think that our Prime Minister have take a very wise decision, and what happens, the last governmental decision was to check the possibility, the visibility of export. And in order to have this, we had a meeting, the meeting was headed by two General Managers of the Ministry of Treasury and the Minister of... sorry the General manager of the Ministry of Treasury, The General Manager of the ministry of Health.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Yuval L.: Then, we were participants but they headed it, and the bottom line of the committee was that Israel can export medical grade cannabis product.

Seth Adler: Right, that was the recommendation?

Yuval L.: Yes, that what the recommendation, but the government have to decide on it. And when we brought it to the government, our Prime Minister, and very wisely have to say, say I want to give it a second look. Because, I wanted to see it a second look, according to advise that we got from the Minister of Internal...

Seth Adler: Internal affairs?

Yuval L.: No, homeland security.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Yuval L.: Because, he wanted to re-check the risk, according to the opportunity.

Seth Adler: Understood, the risk and the reward, what are we talking about?

Yuval L.: Yeah, to make a re-check. So we nominate an economic advisor, Professor Avi Simhon and he double checked it. And then now have been done, and I think that we are going to the government again.

Seth Adler: We're in a good place at least to present again, essentially.

Yuval L.: We're in a very good place.

Seth Adler: Right.
So we are back in the car here, and we were kind of just talking about how the home... we're just kind of, it's like it's best in the Himalayas, is what we were saying. But you can only grow and once, in the Himalayas once a year.

Yuval L.: Once a year.

Seth Adler: And you can go three and a half times here.

Yuval L.: Yeah, two and a half circles we call it.

Seth Adler: And so, we've kind of in... and here's the GPS again, because we're back in the car. We've been talking about the fact that, this is the first... yesterday was the first week that we delivered product to a patient through a [crosstalk 00:19:03]

Yuval L.: Yeah, yesterday was a very unique day.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: Very unique because yesterday it was the first doctor ever, that prescribe according to good clinical procedures.

Seth Adler: The GCP.

Yuval L.: The GCP. Prescribed cannabis to a patient.

Seth Adler: Right.

Yuval L.: For the first patient, and the first patient went to the first pharmacy, and buy the first GMP products, cannabis products. GMP and it's really something, so it's the first. And also I told you this week it's going to be here in Israel the first governmental summit about medical grade cannabis. The Canaan.

Seth Adler: With two ends?

Yuval L.: Yeah, with the two ends because this is Caanan the Holy land. And this is cannabis and Yes, we can.

Seth Adler: There we go. Yes we can. So, where are the four components of this?

Yuval L.: Four component of it, it's called, according to the 20 in April, because, we were aiming really, towards the 20th of April, because 20th of April it say-

Seth Adler: Because that's this Week?

Yuval L.: Yeah. That happens the beginning of last week. This is the beginning, where all of our systems, were ready to begin to pilot. We didn't begin it because it was Friday. And it was just after our national independence day. So this is also a kind of independence.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Yuval L.: What we are making here together, and so in the pilot, it's going to be 20 doctors, they're going in 20 pharmacies, and then in honor of the 20th April, because everything is safe to be with some Memorial day's. So it's very kind of history.

Seth Adler: So it's 420. It's essentially what it is.

Yuval L.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: You really do because I've asked others, and others say, you know yes okay it is real and that's fine. I asked them if, because this is the promised land, or the Holy Land, if it changes things, and most people say no to me. But I feel like you say yes to me, that it's different because it's here.

Yuval L.: It's different because it's here.

Seth Adler: It is an added.

Yuval L.: Israel, it's an added value in Israel. Israel is a very modern country, and in Israel we have a combination, unique combination of very good agriculture, very good agriculture intelligence. And the knowledge of agriculture, Volcani center. Second, in Israel we have a lot of innovative spirit, a lot of high tech as well. Israel high tech. People know that Israel is a high tech nation.

Seth Adler: Absolutely.

Yuval L.: And also innovative nations. Also, in Israeli we are not only in high tech but also in other things. So, in this-

Seth Adler: maybe cyber security.

Yuval L.: Oh yeah, also cyber. Israel is leading also in cyber security, and we believe that, in this type of medical grade cannabis, and I mean only medical grade cannabis, not recreational cannabis. But in a medical way, we had here together some values, and they're all together. The spirit of Israel, the spirit on innovation, the good, very good agriculture knowledge and skills that we have in Israel. They are very good knowledge and skills that we have in medicine in Israel. The spirit of Missoula, which was one of the best and the leader, of the whole thing and all innovative things going to what is in the middle of the circle. And in the middle of the circle stands the patient. And so the patient, and all the efforts are all round and in order to help the patients.

Seth Adler: There we go. All right, I have a feeling we're gonna speak again down the line. In the meantime, I'm gonna ask you three final questions for returning guests. I'll tell you what they are, and ill ask them in order.
What would you change about yourself, if anything? What would you change about anything else, if you could? That's the second question. And the third question is always the same. On the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's gotta be on there. So this is a different set of questions. The first question is, what would you change about yourself if anything, it might be something you're already working on?

Yuval L.: I think it's the answer for the first two questions.

Seth Adler: Oh, it's both the same?

Yuval L.: It's the same. It's that we have to add more modesty to our lives.

Seth Adler: Interesting

Yuval L.: Everybody

Seth Adler: Everybody, you, me everybody.

Yuval L.: Everybody.

Seth Adler: This will help us in communication?

Yuval L.: This will help us as society, as person, as human beings. Let's be all a little bit more moderest about everything.

Seth Adler: Everything, yeah I like it. So if that's both questions then the only one you got to give me as a song.

Yuval L.: But the song is the same song. It's the Hallelujah one.

Seth Adler: That's it?

Yuval L.: Yeah, but now we know to sing it to end it in my synagogue we sisnging sometimes it in a coin a music

Seth Adler: And then we have a call and this is it, we gotta go.
Alright Yuvall, thank you so much.

Yuval L.: Okay Seth.

Seth Adler: And there you have Yuvall land shaft. Very much appreciate his time, his invitation to host the cannabis medicalization event, in Israel as well as his personal tour, of what's happening. Again very much appreciate his time very much. Appreciate your time. Stay tuned.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.