Breath of Life International, the largest medical marijuana company in Israel, filed to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), last week. It is the first cannabis company from Israel to apply to launch an initial public offering with Canada’s top stock market.
More commonly known as BOL Pharma, the company has been a leader in cannabis research in Israel. It has worked closely with medical research facilities across the country that conduct large-scale clinical programs to test the effectiveness of medical marijuana on 30 different conditions. Currently, BOL Pharma serves as many as 48 pharmacies in the country.
Israel has notably been progressive with cannabis research since the 1960s, unlike in the U.S., where federal prohibition still makes clinical studies near impossible. Analysts say cannabis research is vital in dispelling myths and finding proven, effective treatments, which would help expand the legal industry.
What separates BOL Pharma from other cannabis companies is in addition to THC and CBD, it has conducted research, and can extract and process, lesser known cannabinoids such as CBN, CBC and CBG . While CBD and THC might be the most popular cannabis compounds, others require research in order to help get a more complete picture of the potential effectiveness of cannabis.
However, it’s not just researchers within Israel that the company hopes to supply cannabis to. BOL Pharma is planning to export its products to Canada, Australia, and the EU as well. The company plans more production, and plans to expand its operations into Portugal to increase capacity space. By the end of next year, BOL Pharma said it will be able to produce 870,000 kg of dried cannabis annually, which would increase its footprint in the industry substantially.
Sales still small — for now
In 2018, the Israeli cannabis company recorded sales of just $3.5 million, and while that’s up from $3 million in the prior year, it’s dwarfed by the sales growth seen in North America. However, similar to many legal cannabis firms today, it has also struggled to stay out of the red net loss of $29.3 million in 2018.
Unique opportunity for cannabis investors
BOL Pharma didn’t give a timeframe for its plans to debut on the TSX, but when it does, it may give investors a new and attractive investment opportunity.
Although Israel hasn’t legalized marijuana for recreational use, there’s still lots of potential for medical marijuana around the world as significant increase in clinical research is down the pipe and could lead to proven medical treatments. And as world leaders in cannabis research and development, it can give the company a significant competitive advantage.
Being research trailblazers and at the forefront of innovation, it can help BOL Pharma achieve lower operating costs and create better products as well. And in an industry where differentiation and profits are hard to come by, it’s an advantage that could help make the stock an attractive play for investors.