Israel cannabis operations of Tikun Olam reportedly up for sale
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Israel cannabis operations of Tikun Olam reportedly up for sale

Decision to sell follows court ruling backing Health Ministry decision to revoke firm’s license unless founder cuts back holdings, Calcalist says

Illustrative: A worker tends to cannabis plants at a growing facility for the Tikun Olam company near Safed, August 31, 2010. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Illustrative: A worker tends to cannabis plants at a growing facility for the Tikun Olam company near Safed, August 31, 2010. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

The Israeli activities of medical cannabis grower Tikun Olam are up for sale, the Calcalist business daily reported Wednesday, citing sources from within the medical cannabis industry.

Yitzhak (Tzahi) Cohen, the founder and controlling shareholder of the firm, is in talks with a number of entities for the sale of the Israeli operations, Calcalist said. The operations include a 3-dunam cannabis farm, around 0.74 acres; a factory that is in the process of being built in Nazareth Illit; a nurse clinic and offices in Tel Aviv; and a list of 8,000 local clients that are being treated with cannabis oils. The price tag for these activities is $100 million, the sources said.

Cohen founded Tikun Olam in 2005 as a nonprofit, making it a limited company in 2010. The firm was the first company in Israel to get a license from the Health Ministry to grow medical cannabis for patients and is today the largest in Israel.

The activities of the firm abroad — including cannabis growth, production and the marketing of medical cannabis products in the US, Canada, Australia and Greece and other international activities will not be put up for sale, the report said.

Cohen decided to sell the operations after the Jerusalem District Court earlier this month backed the Health Ministry decision not to renew the firm’s license to grow the weed locally, unless Cohen stopped being a controlling shareholder and whittled down his 70% stake in the firm to 5%, according to the report.

The ministry declined to renew Tikun Olam’s cannabis growing license based on a police report that recommended Cohen halt his activities in the medical cannabis field, Calcalist said.

Aharon Lutzky, president of Tikun Olam, told Calcalist: “We act in accordance with the court’s directive and our goal is to ensure that our patients are able to continue receiving the treatment they are waiting for when the company returns to full activity in Israel — regardless of its ownership structure.”

Last year, the Health Ministry issued a temporary stop work order against Tikun Olam over concerns that the company’s cannabis drying process was not up to code, leaving thousands of patients in limbo.

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