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Israeli Health Ministry Certifies Cannabis Vaporizer as Medical Device

Israeli Health Ministry Certifies Cannabis Vaporizer as Medical Device

Kanabo’s VapePod allows users to inhale precise doses of marijuana from extracts

Asaf Shalev | 18:18, 15.03.18
Vaporizer devices for inhaling marijuana are now common around the world, but Israel just became possibly the first country in the world to classify one as a medical device.

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The country’s health ministry in recent weeks certified a vaporizer device developed by Israel-based Kanabo Research Ltd. after a review of its specifications and performance.

Marijuana. Photo: Bloomberg Marijuana. Photo: Bloomberg Marijuana. Photo: Bloomberg

Kanabo’s VapePod allows users to consume marijuana extracts in precise doses, which is why ministry officials gave it the green light, Avihu Tamir, the startup’s co-founder and chief executive, said in an interview.

Founded in 2017 and based in Tel Aviv, Kanabo plans to bring the product to market in the coming months, Mr. Tamir added. Sales in Europe should begin next quarter, followed by distribution in Israel in June, if additional bureaucratic hurdles are resolved.

A medical device certification will allow Kanabo to sell its products through pharmacies and healthcare providers, Mr. Avihu said.

“Until medical validation happens, the stigma around medical marijuana is not going to end,” he said.

Kanabo also announced the beginning of trials to test marijuana extract formulas for their efficacy in treating sleep disorders.

In the future, the startup plans to introduce a device that monitors patient usage, gathering data to improve treatment and to apply in research.

Israel is home to about 70 cannabis-related startups, which employ more than 900 people and have raised a total of $76 million, according to a recent report by IVC Research Center Ltd., a Tel Aviv-based research center.

The country has become a major destination for researchers who want to conduct medical studies with cannabis due to welcoming regulations by the health ministry.

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Many in the emerging industry are advocating for the government to allow the export of medical marijuana, which could net the country more than $1 billion a year, according to official estimates. The government is currently split on whether to change the law and the decision now rests with the prime minister.
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