Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has followed in the footsteps of Ehud Barak by taking on a high-profile role in the cannabis industry.
He will serve as a professional advisor to Univo Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TASE: UNVO.TA), which recently secured licenses for the cultivation, production, and distribution of marijuana. Olmert, who led the country from 2006 to 2009, has also become an investor in the company.
He is the second former Israeli Prime Minister to join the nation’s burgeoning cannabis industry, as Barak became chairman at InterCure (TLV: INCR) in Sep. 2018. Barak, who was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001, earns a $10,000 monthly salary and he has since become one of the most prominent figures in the global marijuana business, speaking at international conferences while helping successful lobbying that saw Israeli firms permitted to export cannabis.
Univo is hoping that Olmert will be able to use his connections with global markets and his broad experience of the healthcare sector to steer the company toward a glorious future. He was Israel’s Minister of Health from 1990 to 1992, before becoming Mayor of Jerusalem, Deputy Leader and then Prime Minister.
“Israel is stepping up and joining the world’s most progressive nations in developing a pivotal local industry that has the potential to contribute to global medical cannabis R&D efforts,” said Olmert.
He said he examined many of Israel’s top medicinal marijuana companies before choosing to “contribute my experience and knowledge to Univo”. He believes the firm has the potential to become the market leader in the country’s flourishing cannabis industry.
Univo investors hailed him as a fierce leader with a distinguished track record.
Olmert was sentenced to a 27-month prison term after he was convicted of accepting bribes and obstructing justice during his time as Mayor of Jerusalem and as a trade minister. Nowadays he chairs the Public Council for a Healthy Lifestyle and leads a group that invests in global medical companies.
Univo recently took on ownership of 74% of a cannabis production facility and signed an agreement to develop the formulation for Veoli’s new cannabis inhaler. Its share price has increased 232% since Jan 1., 2019.