I’m surprised that the January 19th announcement by Philip Morris of a planned investment in Israel-based Syqe Medical didn’t generate more media attention. Maybe it was because the announcement was made during the massive blizzard that hit the Northeast United States. Or, maybe the general media and even the cannabis media didn’t see it as a significant event.
At the time, I referred to Philip Morris’ announcement as a game-changer. The more I think about it, the more I think it will be viewed historically as a defining historical event for the emerging medical cannabis industry.
Syqe Medical has developed a metered-dose inhaler that allows medical cannabis to be delivered in a safe and precise manner. The Company’s technology turns cannabis into a granulate and allows it to be ingested in metered doses.
While the official announcement indicated that “Syqe Medical will develop technologies for Philip Morris that will help reduce health risks associated with smoking,” it’s apparent that this investment is primarily about the global cigarette company obtaining a first-to-market advantage in the emerging global and increasingly legal, medical cannabis industry.
While the investment by Philip Morris is a reminder that Israel is the world leader in cannabis plant sciences and medical cannabis research, the importance is not just about Israel’s role as the “global cannabis superpower.” It’s a far more significant event.
The investment by Philip Morris legitimizes the entire medical cannabis industry. It is a confirmation that the industry is here to stay. Philip Morris broke the ice. It legitimized the industry for other major corporations, not only cigarette companies but also biotech, pharmaceutical, and agri-business companies.
Equally important is the significance of Philip Morris’ investment for investors. It’s a green light for many institutional investors who have been sitting on the sidelines, unwilling to get involved in an industry that still is illegal on a federal level in the U.S., in most U.S. states and most of the world.
My conclusion is that over the coming months it's likely that other major companies will also take the plunge, and invest in what is now the world’s fastest growing industry.
Article originally posted in Israel at the Cannatech “Israel Cannabis” (ICAN) Blog: http://israel-cannabis.com/category/blog/
Author: Jeffrey Friedland (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +1-646-450-8909)
Jeffrey Friedland is the author of two books, “All Roads Lead to China: An Investor Road Map to the World’s Fastest Growing Economy,” and “Marijuana: The World’s Most Misunderstood Plant.” Both books are available from Amazon.
He is also the CEO of the investment banking firm, Friedland Global Capital, the CEO of INTIVA Inc., a firm pursuing opportunities in the global cannabis industry, a director of Israel Plant Sciences Ltd., and an advisor to the U.S. private equity fund, First Harvest Financial, which is focused on the cannabis industry.