In Hebrew, Tikkun Olam means “repairing the world.” The philosophy behind the phrase is idealistic, but the leading Israeli medical marijuana company appears to be trying its best to deliver on that goal.
Tikun Olam was founded in 2006 with the goal of getting medical marijuana to those that needed it (sick people), at no cost. The company is licensed by the Israeli government (which has made medical marijuana federally legal, with tight restrictions) to grow marijuana and distribute it to the nation’s hospitals, clinical research teams, and, of course, to the country’s registered patients.
The company projects an image of scientific research and public service, and has the history to back it up. Tikun Olam has initiated programs encompassing individuals from pediatric late-stage cancer patients to the elderly, and addresses a multitude of physical and psychological ailments that, they believe, can be helped with the educated use of medical marijuana.
There are plenty of companies out there, in the U.S. and abroad, that are taking a more professional approach to the industry; but few have led by example. Tikun Olam breaks from the pack with services such as giving its patients detailed guidelines and recommendations on how to ingest the medicine via literature and a brick-and-mortar “instruction center” in Tel Aviv.
The company works very closely with regulators, supplying and supporting the largest government-run hospital (Sheba Medical Center), and executing PR campaigns reminding the world that Israel is a global leader in science, medicine, and technology — not simply a war-torn nation. On the latter note, the company works towards its eponymous philosophy, too. Tikun Olam has attempted to partner with humanitarian organizations to get its products into the hands of Palestine’s ill. The success of this appears uncertain, though, due to cultural attitudes towards marijuana in the region.
How it works
For Tikun Olam’s 4,000+ patients, the company runs its business according to the government’s efficient, logical system. Patients pay a $100 monthly membership fee that is not tied to any specific quantity of marijuana. For first-timers, there is a mandatory $40 fee for a tutorial on how to properly consume marijuana. Sick children receive their medication for free.
The company, led by white coat-wearing scientists and agronomists in addition to caregiving nurses and doctors, cultivates a wide variety of strains and manufactures various forms of consumable cannabis. There are high-THC content strains for severe pain relief, and anti-inflammatory CBD strains with no psychoactive effect. Patients can obtain flower, edible and even pill forms of the meds.
A solid start
Tikum Olam’s leadership in Israel’s medical marijuana experiment is admirable. While the industry is in its infancy, compared to a slightly further along one in the United States, medical professionals and politicians seem optimistic for the future. Back home, cannabis advocates and business owners are wise to take note: this industry will emerge faster and better by serving a greater good through conscious, sophisticated practices.