Former Israeli Air-Force Commander Eitan Ben Eliyahu is the latest high-profile name to join the country’s burgeoning medicinal cannabis industry.
The retired major general has been named chairman at Cannbit Ltd (TASE: CNBT) and he cemented the appointment by investing NIS 1.5 million ($420,000) in the company’s stock. He was already an investor in the firm, along with Swedish art curator Daniel Birnbaum and former Yesh Atid Knesset Member Yifat Kariv, and now he is heading up the firm’s board.
He follows two former Israeli Prime Ministers and several leading public figures into this growing sector. Ehud Barak, who led the country from 1999 to 2001, served as Minister of Defence from 2007 to 2011 and was immortalized in the Stephen Spielberg movie Munich, got the ball rolling in September 2018 when he became chairman at InterCure (TLV: INCR).
He declared that medical cannabis has proven potential to improve the lives of patients worldwide and he has emerged as a leading authority within the global industry, while he is handsomely compensated for his efforts.
Another former Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, joined the industry in April 2019 when he joined the board at licensed producer Univo Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TASE: UNVO.TA). Olmert was once Minister of Health and he served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2009, although he subsequently spent time behind bars for bribery and obscuring justice.
Earlier this week, Yaakov Peri, the former Israeli Minister of Science, Technology and Space, took over as president at marijuana research firm CANN-IL. Former Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz became chairman at cannabis firm CFR, while former Israeli Police chief Yohanan Danino chairs Together Pharma Ltd. and another former Israeli Air-Force Commander, Ido Nehoshtan, heads up Cannasure Insurance Services LLC.
That is quite the roll call and the cannabis industry is fast becoming the place Israeli leaders retire to. Israel is a pioneer in the field of medicinal marijuana and it recently permitted exports, so these politicians and military leaders could put their contacts and diplomacy skills to good use in the months and years ahead.
In April, Cannbit raised almost $9 million in a public offering for 19% of its registered capital so as to fund future growth.