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Father of cannabis research plans a new revolution nearly 60 years later

In 1963, Prof. Raphael Mechoulam sent shockwaves through the scientific world when he became the first scientist to isolate and eventually synthesize the active psychoactive ingredients in the cannabis plant – THC, CBD and several other cannabinoids – a finding which led his lab to discover the endocannabinoid system in 1988.

These discoveries were foundational to the world of cannabis-related medical research, leading many to nickname him the "godfather" and even the "father" of cannabis research.

His latest research on cannabis-derived acids, however, seems to have taken cannabis research into a completely new phase – one which could finally bridge the funding gap between the potential for medical cannabis treatment and the funding that companies are willing to invest in its research and development.

These days, Mechoulam leads the medical team for EPM, which plans to register in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange toward the third or fourth quarters of 2021.

The Jerusalem Post sat down for an interview last week with EPM's CEO, Israeli entrepreneur Reshef Swisa – who teamed up with the scientist 50 years his senior to found EPM in 2017 – and with its chairman, veteran British pharmaceutical businessman Julian Gangolli, who joined the company in 2019, in order to find out what exactly cannabis acids are, and what their impact could be on the worldwide medical cannabis market.

"When you look at a cannabis field, none of the plants actually contain THC or CBD or any cannabinoids. All cannabinoids will appear on a plant only after that plant is dead," Swisa told the Post. "You learn that there is a big difference between the compound you find on a plant when it's alive and the compound you'll find when it's dead."


Seth Yakatan

Seth Yakatan

Known for solutions that yield results, Seth Yakatan has completed or advised on acquisitions and corporate finance transactions totaling over $3 billion. He is CEO of Katan Associates International—a financial strategy and merchant banking firm specializing in commercialization and asset monetization—especially those within life-science and e-commerce sectors.




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