The former prime minister of Israel has joined the cannabis industry by taking on a new role as chairman of a leading supplier of medicinal marijuana.
Ehud Barak will receive a $10,000 monthly salary to head up biomed firm InterCure (TLV: INCR), which is in the process of acquiring established producer Canndoc. When the deal goes through the overall group will be named Canndoc Pharma and Barak will spend 40 hours per month chairing it.
“Medical cannabis has proven potential to help and improve the lives of many patients worldwide and major Western countries have adopted and are adopting it as a recognized mainstream medical treatment,” said the former prime minister, who was leader of the Labour Party until 2011.
Barak is the joint most decorated soldier in Israeli history and Stephen Spielberg immortalized him in the film Munich. He quickly rose through the ranks at the Labour Party, where he was renowned for his laser-like determination, and he became prime minister from 1999 to 2001. He also served as Minister of Defense from 2007 to 2011, so he could provide a formidable presence in the boardroom.
He declared it is his intention to make Canndoc Pharma “a world leader in its field”. Canndoc has a cannabis farm in northern Israel and it has long been a pioneer in the country’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry.
It should be able to extend its reach now that it’s backed by InterCure, the first and only public company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to hold a valid and permanent license for the entire medical cannabis value chain. It has already supplied thousands of patients with cannabis cultivated on its farm, and it sees great potential for future growth.
The firm is planning to launch an IPO on the Nasdaq or another of the major US stock exchanges as it bids to accelerate its growth plans. It will tell potential investors that the global cannabis market is projected to reach $150 billion in the coming years. As part of his deal, Barak will be entitled to an options plan of about 5% of the firm at an average exercise price of NIS 3.20 ($0.89) per share. He replaces outgoing chairman Shlomo Shalev, who has led InterCure over the past four years.