The Israeli government approved exports of cannabis from Israel, and share prices of companies related to the sector on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) boomed. The same thing happened to the share price on Nasdaq of Israeli company Seedo (OTC: SEDO), which has developed a system for controlled and contact-less cannabis growing at home or agriculturally.
Seedo has given investors an impressive 300% return since its merger into a stock exchange shell was completed six weeks ago, boosting the company's market cap to $32 million. The company also raised $2.5 million from Cannabics and Yorkville Advisors Global on that occasion. Adv. Shmuel Yannay led the round.
Seedo is now beginning to supply $5.5 million in advance orders from many different countries. The point at which the promises that produced the orders and the product itself meet is very significant for companies taking early orders for dream products, because expectations are usually very high.
More expensive, larger amounts
"We have developed a device like a box that can be put in the customer's home and connected to the Internet," says Seedo CEO Zohar Levy. "The box contains sensors, a camera that photographs the plant, and software through which it exercises fully automatic control of the growing conditions, with no intervention by the customer. Pesticides are not needed, and computerized management saves water. All the grower has to do is occasionally replace a CO2 cartridge, a water filter, an air filter, and fertilizers."
A home box costs $2,400, and the perishable parts must be replaced twice a year at a cost of $270 per quarter. The total cost of the crop is higher than what you would pay to buy an average dosage of medical cannabis recommended for a patient in Israel. The quantity is also greater, however, and in markets where it is permitted, the material can also be sold. Furthermore, the overseas competitors charge more. "Every seedling produces 100 grams of dry flowers in 90 days. You can make at least $10 a gram in the US."
Mass production in 2020
The company began by marketing the product to farmers, not the home market, and plans to resume this soon. "High-quality cannabis has to grow in controlled conditions, which means in a closed space. Our growing container saves on personnel, 6-8 people per container, and the boxes can be piled on top of each other in order to save space and grow the plant in a city. The aim is to supply these containers through mass production by the end of 2019."
The product is currently designed for cannabis, and is especially worthwhile for a crop that can be sold at a high price. In principle, however, there is no reason why it cannot be used to grow other agricultural products, such as strawberries out of season or saffron, which is an expensive plant. Consumers who value organic food and have no confidence that crops marketed as organic were grown according to the standards can attain complete control of the growing conditions for their food without becoming farmers.
Levy says, "We're working on another product for growing salad. It will be the size of a refrigerator, divided into cells, each with a special control according to the conditions required for that crop. It will adapt the crop to a family's needs. The vegetables for salad can be picked from our refrigerator, instead of buying them. Our vision is that one day, the refrigerator will grow all the food that a home needs by itself, with no intervention."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 31, 2019
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