Yohai Golan Gild, founder of Better Cannabis, one of the pioneers of cannabis cultivation in Israel, has been arrested in Thailand on suspicion of dealing in various types of drugs at parties on the island of Ko Pha Ngan. Sources close to the company in Israel confirmed that Gild had been arrested. It was later reported that he had been released on bail.
Thai financial website Manager Online reports that a group of Israelis, among them Gild, was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of dealing in cocaine, ketamine, marijuana, and other drugs, and that members of the group attempted to bribe the policemen with a million dollars but were refused. These details have not been confirmed in Israel.
Gild founded Better Cannabis in 2008 after studying cannabis cultivation in the US. The company was one of the most successful in this market when it was limited to eight companies selling directly to users under the old regulations. Only at the last moment did the company manage to obtain approval to operate under the new regulations, but its products are now marketed successfully at pharmacies.
Better Cannabis was to have been merged into stock market shell company WhiteSmoke, but the deal broke down, following which its chairman , former minister of health and currently Clal Insurance chairman Dan Naveh, and its CEO, former Assuta Medical Centers CEO Pino Tsruya, resigned, and a group of investors headed by Naveh sued the company. The lawsuit was withdrawn when it was promised that investment in the company would be forthcoming from Thailand. The shareholders apparently preferred to try to realize their holdings rather than sue.
Gild himself is not a shareholder in Better Cannabis, but the company is controlled by his mother, Prof. Galia Golan, who is a professor at the Lauder School of Government, Policy and Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. The company said in a statement: "Yohai is a private individual and has had no executive or management role in the company for several years. The controlling stake in the company is held by Yohai Gild's mother, and he has nothing whatsoever to do with the company or with the deal being put together with the Thai investor. We wish Yohai well, and hope that the matter will prove to have been a mistake."
Better Cannabis is run by Yaakov Molcho, recently appointed project manager in Israel, and by its Australian CEO Braden McGrath, who took up the post a few months ago when Tsruya left. As mentioned, the company is active and has products that comply with the new Israeli regulatory framework for medical cannabis.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 16, 2020
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