in an increasingly online purchasing environment, one would assume it to be a simple process like ordering, paying for and a receiving book, no? well, unfortunately not.
the tale of the cannabis plant is a drama of hero to villain to hero; from traditional medicine, to ill-reputed and outlawed ‘dangerous’ substance, to careful ‘normalisation’ – and now, as a re-accepted medical aid in the past two decades there are local and international markets, but they are dragging.
however, since regulation for medical purposes, differing laws and standards currently present challenges in many stages along the process, within and across countries.
in the hallways of the international medical cannabis trade, the name holy smoke keeps popping up, prompting interest in what, in fact, is their contribution to this conundrum.
we found hagai hillman, the cofounder and ceo of holy smoke, who says he identified blockages along the trade lines during years in the field. one of the first licenced cannabis cultivators in israel, he also founded bol (breath of life), which is the largest medical cannabis company in israel today, serving the needs of around 30% of the israel cannabis patient market. bol was the first company to import and export inflorescence to and from israel, under an imc-gmp certification as well as eu-gmp certification for api. these two certifications are the highest recognition available by authorities for the pharmaceutical industry. out of his deep understanding he operates in the cannabis world in an innovative way not seen before.
as pioneers in international flora trade, many points along the international trade route presented mismarriages between storing standards, packaging regulations and post-harvest practices. these, they saw, needed bridging, in order to streamline the process and allow partnerships across nations to work smoothly, thereby assuring quality, enriching available continuous stocks, varieties and speed of delivery of this most important medicine.
born of experience, the natural solution to overcome these impediments evolved, he shares, by studying the various standardisation acceptable in different regions, identifying the outstanding providers along the supply chain and forming fruitful partnerships and collaborations with them.
our partnerships facilitate previously difficult or impossible trade relations to flourish, sharing larger varieties of consistent active ingredient profiles. this continuity is the cornerstone in patients’ repurchasing their favourite products.
so are you simply a middleman?
certainly not, for a number of reasons.
holy smoke is more than a novel intelligent communication platform.
he goes on to describe their marketing partnerships, where shared selling produces shared profits. as well as their legacy of “outstanding” cultivation partners abroad, carefully selected for their professional teams, high standards, reliability and adherence to protocol and standards.
“their facilities and experts provide secure growing conditions for our specialty cultivations, owned by and grown for us in dedicated plots under our supervision, which we then export internationally. this ensures strict qa practices, consistency and ultra-premium cannabis products.”
post-harvest and packaging is another sphere of varying quality-control and legal structures that holy smoke has crystallised with quality personal contacts. they ensure their crop is post harvested in personally approved facilities and that highest standards are held. “it is indeed impossible to turn a bad crop into a good one during post-harvest, it is however very easy to take a good crop and ruin it.” this is a crucial stage, firstly for the quality of the product to be assured. secondly, each stage of post-harvest treatment can belong to different legal tiers in different countries, so that a match must be coordinated between legal compatibility, and the timing of crop treatment. thus cross-board expertise is needed.
do other entities in the medical cannabis arena get to benefit from this particular expertise?
the largest contribution that we can deliver, i believe, is enabling excellent existing brands worldwide, who wish to sell globally but are bound by local export restrictions, to have their label available abroad using our provider/partners.
licensed producers who are interested in entering operations in another country but limited in financial resources, can be served with our production capabilities.
similarly, every mc product that is available to the israeli market, is available to the world commercially through us, using our abovementioned capabilities.
given your experience in israel, is holy smoke active there too?
we have intimate, personal working knowledge with the israeli market. thus we can easily infuse foreign products into the israeli market.
we also identified inefficiencies in the purchasing experience. our digital platform streamlines the process and centralizes the national inventory to a ‘one click’ purchase.
it’s as easy as buying a book.
for more info: holysmokemedic.com
this article was published in ‘medical cannabis 2022’ digital issue