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2nd October 2019

A deeper look at the global medical cannabis industry

Adam Shuster shares his thoughts on the benefits of a properly regulated medical cannabis market

BH Synergy Group is a company founded on a rich, high tech, scientific background with years of experience in the vaccine world. Currently based in Israel with access to over 25 years of legal patient use, included clinical trials, they have been active since 2013. The BH Synergy team has been working together for over 20 years, giving them the opportunity to see firsthand the physical and mental benefits from the use of cannabis. Cannabiz magazine sat down with co-founder and CEO Adam Shuster for a deeper look at this emerging, global industry.

What are the biggest challenges defining the global cannabis industry at the moment?

There are a number of issues, such as regulatory challenges, which are very different in every country and jurisdiction, a change in patient awareness, and the shifting standards when it comes to medical practitioner’s perception of cannabis.
We are beginning to see good things when it comes to the standardisation, especially the standardisation of growing, extraction, packaging, distribution processes and consumption. Protocols such as EU GAP/GMP/GDP/GLP/GSP are a great start.
I believe the standards that have been set in place in Israel after over 25 years of patients use and experience with IMC (Israel Medical Cannabis) by the Ministry of Health of Israel, are both leading and setting the standards for other countries.

In terms of regulation, countries like Canada and Israel are currently leading the pack, which markets are expected to join them in the next few years?

Being based in Israel I can attest that over a dozen different delegations from different countries around the world, some of whom we have met, have shown tremendous interest in learning of Israel’s experience and protocols.
We are aware of course of the current status in Canada, the US, and Israel as leaders in this industry, we believe that countries that develop proper regulatory practices for responsible medical cannabis use, will be ripe to take the lead and follow their burgeoning success.
We’re also closely following what is currently happening in Africa, we are particularly impressed by Lesotho and South Africa. In Asia we see fantastic traction with Australia, Thailand, and even good things in South Korea. In Central America we are aware of developing regulatory processes in Mexico and Columbia.
Of course tremendous strides are also taking place in Europe, specifically in Germany, Luxembourg, England, and Switzerland. BH Synergy Group has been approached by business leaders in these countries for assistance in the regulatory sphere, vertical operation build out and joint ventures with B2B and B2G.

When it comes to innovation and market disruption, where do you think things are headed for the medical cannabis industry?

The most influential market disruptions will, at this stage be a regulatory process. Meaning that as barriers to entry come down, international cross-marketing will take place in order to include quality GMP and most importantly EBM (evidence-based medicine), which is something we are currently working on sourcing here at BH Synergy Group.
BH Synergy is currently aware of over 150 pre-clinical/clinical trials taking place in Israel. We also have CRO agreements in place and JVs with some of the trials. We also believe that EBM will improve quality patient well being – the opportunity to the pharmaceutical world is tremendous.

Speaking of regulation, has the lack of a global consensus/synergy on legislation impacted this sphere?

We know that there are a lot of challenges as mentioned above. We are happy to see standardisation and regulatory processes starting to align. However, we at BH Synergy believe that every country has its own unique culture and challenges which need to be addressed and attuned to. We can see that the sharing of information of responsible medical cannabis consumption is helping bring down the barriers.

What are your thoughts on how emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI can interact with and support this developing industry?

We see the positive evolution and tremendous growth of blockchain technology, which provides us with a system that records transactions using cryptography to include timestamps and transaction data. All of this gives the regulatory authorities and private businesses more security and confidentiality.
At BH Synergy we are aware of cutting-edge technologies exploiting AI. For example, the patient use and consumption of medical cannabis as well as DNA data mining will teach us to give better personal patient-based medicine. Sharing this information with qualified, controlled medical organisations will hopefully lead to accurate patient care.

BH Synergy has quite a few strings to their bow; tell me about the services you offer your clients.

Our experience in the design and construction of turn-key cultivation facilities across North America gives us access to advanced technologies, including but not limited to agro, bio and medical devices for the industry.
Amongst other things we offer dynamic cultivation systems, where the primary focus is prefab shipping container-based cultivation facilities and hybrid indoor/greenhouse cultivation facilities. The management team has extensive experience in the Pharmaceutical and cannabis industries in Israel, the United States, Canada, and Europe. The DCS team has completed over a dozen cannabis cultivation facilities across North-America.
We also focus on design & buildout, equipment sourcing and fulfilment, branding and marketing and operational management, where we help you develop and cultivate best practices that optimise space, maximise yield and deliver a consistent quality end product.
Our goal is to reduce capital and operational expenditures by providing low-cost access to equipment and supplies. We also develop effective strategies for branding and marketing plans, from crafting engaging content to designing amazing campaigns.

Have you any plans to add to this list?

BH Synergy is establishing a first-class Israeli-based seed-to-sale cultivation, processing, export and R&D facility complying with IMC-GAP, IMC-GMP, IMC-GDP highest standards, and utilising Israel’s existing ecosystems to become a recognised name brand in the industry.

We’re looking forward to hearing you speak at the Medical Cannabiz World Summit in November, what are your thoughts on what Malta is doing in this space at the moment?

We are excited to come to this event in November. We know that Eman Pulis and his team know how to put together fantastic networking events on an international scale.
When he came with his team to Israel in April, he brought a team of strong, diversified people, including some of Malta’s top-level government officials. We at BH Synergy Group, on the one hand were very impressed by the professionalism and thoroughness, while on the other enjoyed the personal, family feeling. Malta’s government authorities have put medical cannabis at the forefront of industry development. We know Malta is a great place to do business and an ideal gateway into Europe. We at BH Synergy are excited and privileged to be part of this great opportunity.
The Medical Cannabiz World Summit will take place from the 4th to 5th November at the Intercontinental, St Julian’s, Malta, to be followed by the inaugural launch of the Medical Cannabiz World Asia Summit which will be held in Bangkok on the 22nd and 23rd of June 2020 at the Centara Grand Hotel.
Read more interviews like this in Cannabiz magazine – out now!