The largest cannabis farm in the world can produce over 80 tons of medical grade marijuana each year.
With one million square feet of cultivation fields, one medical marijuana facility is dwarfing all others worldwide.
But it’s not you’d think. Located in Israel, Breath of Life Pharma (BOL) is positioning itself as the world’s largest medical cannabis facility.
World’s Largest Cultivation Facility
The company’s new cultivation, production, and research and development campus in central Israel features:
- A 35,000-square-foot manufacturing plant
- An 8,000-square-foot storage room
- 30,000 square feet of grow rooms and labs
- 1,000,000 square feet of cultivation fields.
BOL CEO Dr. Tamir Gedo reveals his firm is able to store enough medical grade marijuana to supply the entire United States. Dr. Gedo estimates that BOL will produce 80 tons of medical cannabis per year. In comparison, only one facility, the University of Mississippi, is a federally licensed source for medical cannabis in the U.S., and production is limited to just 650 kilograms per year. “We can produce that amount in half a day,” Dr. Gedo says.
BOL’s new facility was constructed in anticipation of Israel’s upcoming approval of international exports for Israeli-grown cannabis. In August of this year, a joint feasibility committee of the Health and Finance ministries submitted the recommendation that Israel should open its lucrative cannabis business to international exports. This worldwide market could be worth as much as $4 billion a year in revenue.
In addition to medical marijuana flower, BOL offers:
- Pills and delayed-release gel capsules
- Sublingual tablets
- Transdermal patches
- Metered inhalers
However, for now, it is illegal to export medical marijuana products into the U.S., keeping foreign companies from cashing in on America’s booming cannabis industry. The exception to this is if a new drug becomes approved by the FDA.
In order to get FDA approval, a company like BOL must conduct the same double-blind clinical trials any new drug in the U.S. goes through. Some 120 clinical trials are currently underway in Israel – more than in any other country.
Because of this, companies are increasingly looking to Israel when conducting phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The FDA is more likely to approve a phase 3 trial in the U.S. if you can point to previous studies done overseas. Of the 15 companies signed up so far to conduct their R&D at BOL’s facility in Israel, at least six are American.
Compared to the BOL facility, cannabis farms in America are miniscule. Not only is the largest cultivation facility in the world not in California – neither is the largest facility in the U.S.
Rather, according to the Growers Network, the largest cannabis farm in America by square foot is in Snowflake, Arizona, with nearly 218,000 square feet. The next largest is a 200,000 square foot farm in Lake Wales, Florida. Both of these facilities service their respective state’s medical marijuana programs exclusively, as shipping marijuana over state lines is illegal. According to the Growers Network database, only 9 farms in the U.S. are over 100,000 square feet. However, as the cannabis industry continues to expand, so will the size of domestic farms.
New Farms Planned in the Coming Years
There are several large facilities planned across the U.S. that should be operational by 2020 or earlier. The scope of these new farms is inline with the expected growth of the cannabis market in the U.S.
California’s largest grow facility was announced in June 2016 by GFarmaLabs. Slated to be built in the town of Desert Hot Springs, the GFarmaLabs facility will be 100,000 square feet and consist of three greenhouses on seven acres. Americann, a Colorado-based company, is hoping to build what will become the nation’s largest cannabis facility at one million square feet on 52 acres of land in Southeast Massachusetts.
All of these cultivation and processing facilities will be dwarfed, however, by the plans to construct a six million square foot greenhouse and research facility in New Mexico. Officials at the Delaware-based Bright Green say they would have room for as many as 40 million medicinal plants, from marijuana to pennywort and Indian ginseng.
While marijuana is expected to make up a significant portion of the operation, the heads of the project say the business plan was designed to sustain itself by producing essential botanical oils used for various remedies already popular in the homeopathic world with an eye toward future marijuana legalization nationwide.
There is good reason for there to be a rush to create large, high capacity cultivation facility in the U.S. The legal cannabis industry in America is projected to hit $24 billion by 2025. The race is on for companies to position themselves to take advantage of the marijuana market when it explodes.
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