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August 7, 2019 10:47 am

Israel’s Together Pharma Announces International Certification for Ugandan Medical Cannabis Farm

avatar by Tzally Greenberg / CTech

An employee checks cannabis plants at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel, March 21, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias / File.

CTech – Tel Aviv-listed medical cannabis company Together Pharma announced on Tuesday it has been granted a control union medical cannabis standard (CUMCS) G.A.P. (good agricultural practice) for its Ugandan farm that will enable it, to its knowledge, to sell its products in Europe. The company has also announced it is currently in talks with a Europe-based entity that has a manufacturing facility that complies with the GMP-EU (good manufacturing practice acknowledged by the European Union) standard needed to manufacture foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals in Europe.

Together also stated that it is in the process of establishing a packing and extraction facility near its farm in Uganda, with construction expected to be completed by the end of the year. Together added it will strive to comply with the standard during the first quarter of 2020.

Several people involved in the Israeli cannabis industry, speaking to Calcalist on condition of anonymity, said that compliance is a good step in the right direction, but that currently there is no pharmaceutical export from Africa to Europe. Another person said there is only one approved factory in Europe — that of Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray — and that it only packages buds. European regulation states that only products that comply with the GMP-EU standard can be processed by customs, the person said, and agricultural products with only a GAPC certification do not comply with European regulation.

In July, following a query from the Israel Securities Authority, Together was forced to reveal that its active Ugandan farm spanned only 1,000 square meters, and that it has yet to receive the required standard to sell the product it grew to date, 100 kilograms of dried buds. The company also reported that it seeded another 10,000 square meters with medical cannabis, and that it could grow as much as 10 tons of dried buds in 2019. The company also slashed the estimated running costs of the farm from NIS 7.2 million (around $2.07 million) to NIS 3.6 million (around $1.03 million).

Approached for comment, Together said receiving the current standard is in line with the company’s business strategy, and the next step is to receive the GMP-EU standard for its Ugandan facility, or to contract a certified third party. Together is operating according to the guidance of international certification companies in order to deliver its product from Uganda to Europe, the company said.

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