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CannaPrenuer It’s not all about the dollars.

A new breed of entrepreneur is using cannabis to make money - and fight a good fight
Swaths of cannabis near the village of Ketama in the Village of Bni Hmed in the Ketama Abdelghaya valley, northern Morocco, on September 14, 2014. (photo credit: AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
Swaths of cannabis near the village of Ketama in the Village of Bni Hmed in the Ketama Abdelghaya valley, northern Morocco, on September 14, 2014. (photo credit: AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

I’m a cannabis entrepreneur, I guess that makes me a CannaPrenuer.  Someone focused on identifying cannabis opportunities and executing profitably.

I don’t often get emotional about cannabis, I avoid standing on a soap box and advocating for reform & regulation.  There’s so many better people than me out there already fighting those good fights.  My passion is the concept of the disruption cannabis is bringing to such a variety of industries, and the opportunities for social entrepreneurship this offers.

So here’s my first public heartfelt opinion piece about the absurdity of cannabis prohibition and the destruction it brings even in heavily regulated worlds.

Last week news broke about a botched clinical trial in France that left one man brain dead and 5 more in critical condition after taking a cannabis-based medication.  The drug trial was in phase one of clinical testing, the period when volunteer participants take a medication to evaluate its safety and potential side effects.

botched cannabis clinical trial

At the time the story broke, It was not clear if the trial drug was using a synthetic or natural cannabis-based formulation. As an cannabis entrepreneur any bad press can have an affect on our activities.  Public perception is softening but still very much tenuous.  I was riled, riled for the weekend.

It’s well known that cannabis could pose a significant threat to big pharma, that it may revolutionize medication dramatically over the coming decade.  Research is gathering pace and evidence stacking up that cannabis and its derivatives are effective for a number conditions that for decades pharmaceuticals have failed to beat.

The cannabis industry is still young, a close knit group of like minded people across the world, each with our own unique strain of passion for the business.

Of the many mantras heard is how cannabis compares to other ‘drugs’, zero fatal overdoses, zero evidence of long term brain damage, zero evidence of impaired functionality, one sticks out to me.

The purest of facts, the one that say’s  in the history of mankind and its relationship with cannabis there has not been a single recorded death due overdose, side effect or allergic reaction.

So when I wake up to find that a pharmaceutical clinical trial has left one man tragically brain dead and five others critically ill, I get emotional.

Why and where is the need to synthesize something that already exists and that requires further research on itself to unlock the many secrets of the plant?

In an era of organic, eco friendly, spirituality and global connectedness, how can anyone justify the need for this type of clinical trial.  I’m no scientist, but it makes more sense to spend time and resources understanding the plant you’re going to replicate.

How many millions of dollars are being spent by pharmaceutical companies trying to protect themselves and their bank balances from a plant?

A PR disaster and a setback for business said many friends and family of mine.   As more facts emerge, more opinions will be formed.   If as we believe, the tide truly has turned and countries are moving towards cannabis reform then this is an opportunity for those all powerful media giants to cover the story with the balance it deserves.

Is this a setback for cannabis research & treatment.  No.   What this is, what it should be seen as, is a beacon of shame that will strengthen the voices of those fighting for authentic, credible research into the plant itself, and the medical conditions that can benefit.

Big Pharma will have a big part to play in the future of Cannaceuticals, though for now our focus has be research on understanding the benefits before we try to replicate it in a test tube.


March 7th-9th opens CannaTech Innovation Summit which has been produced to be agnostic of politics, industry and egos.  As we showcase innovation from Israel and overseas our vision is to see Israel positioned as world leaders in Cannabis research.  A place that with the esteemed Father of Cannabis Research Professor Rafi Mechoulam leading by example and a focused community of innovators & advocates ready to activate and march.

CannaTech logo w caption

We hope to see you in Israel in March for the CannaTech Cannabis Innovation Summit

About the Author
Over 20 Years experience in Digital Marketing, 10 Years an Oleh and 8 Years a Parent. Like many, Clifton likes to share his experiences and opinions with anyone who'll listen. He wraps his ego in humility and tries to be tolerant, fair and balanced. Clifton is a pioneer in the Israeli Cannabis Industry, having co-founded iCAN: Israel Cannabis and the annual CannaTech event.
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