Israeli firms team up to create kits for growing medical cannabis at home

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals and Enroll Grow Tech, the maker of the Seedo home lab, aim to eventually expand the AI-based technology to industrial use

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An illustration of Seedo’s technology for the automated growing of cannabis. (Seedo)
An illustration of Seedo’s technology for the automated growing of cannabis. (Seedo)

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, a cannabis company based in the US and Israel that uses artificial intelligence and big data to develop cannabis-based treatments for cancer patients, is set to join forces with an Israeli maker of automated plant-growing home labs to create grow-it-yourself medical cannabis kits.

Cannabics is teaming up with Enroll Grow Tech Ltd., the maker of Seedo, which allows users to auto-grow plants at home without any experience, using an app that sends notifications and alerts and a fridge-like home lab equipped with sensors, a camera and other smart technologies to keep tabs on the plants’ progress.

“Through this new partnership, Cannabics and Seedo will develop the first controlled device for growing medical cannabis at home, ensuring sustainable quality and supply of natural, pesticide-free product,” the two companies said in a Wednesday statement.

The fully automated system will be managed and controlled by an artificial intelligence algorithm and monitored by a smart phone app, using technology that Seedo has already implemented for other plants, the statement said.

An illustration of Seedo’s technology for the automated growing of Cannabis. (Seedo)

As part of the deal Cannabics will acquire up to 20 percent of Seedo’s shares and will get royalties from the firm.

The two firms said they intend to start with the home devices and then develop a new product together, using the same technology, for the growth of larger quantities of medical cannabis at an industrial scale.

“This initiative will enable patients and eventually businesses to take control of their medical cannabis supply in a revolutionary manner,” said Eyal Barad, CEO of Cannabics Pharmaceuticals.

The development of the home medical prototype device will begin in the first quarter of 2019, the companies said.

Seedo holds a medical cannabis R&D license from the Israeli Health Ministry. Cannabics is a US-based public company that does its research and development in Israel, where it is licensed to perform scientific and clinical research on cannabinoid formulations.

Israel is considered a global leader in medical cannabis research, but industry leaders say the nation is missing out on its market potential after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu halted a plan to export the weed, reportedly to avoid upsetting US President Donald Trump. Ministers have valued the export market at more than $1 billion annually.

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