Israeli cannabis firms expand into Europe, bringing Cookies to Vienna

Israeli cannabis firm InterCure is collaborating with US brand Cookies to launch Europe’s first flagship Cookies store in Vienna, while Panaxia Labs has extended its reach from Israel into Europe by securing a licence to manufacture finished cannabis products in Malta.

San Francisco-based Cookies is an iconic cannabis brand that was founded by rapper and entrepreneur Berner and Bay Area breeder and cultivator Jai in 2010. Cookies opened its first retail store in 2018 and now has more than 45 retail locations in 17 markets across 54 countries.

InterCure is already cultivating, manufacturing and distributing Cookies-branded products through its national medical cannabis pharmacy chain in Israel. It plans to leverage its licensed international supply chain to serve the growing communities of medical cannabis patients in Europe.

“Cookies is one of the most internationally recognised brands in cannabis, and after our mutual success in Israel, it’s only obvious we further our expansion to Europe,” said InterCure CEO Alexander Rabinovitch.

“We are proud to make another big advancement in the expansion of our winning model into Europe and deliver on our promise to supply the highest quality and reliable cannabis products to every territory with a supportive regulatory framework.”

Cookies president Parker Berling said: “Bringing the Cookies brand and its products to Vienna is a core part of our global expansion strategy. By partnering with a global partner like InterCure, we can share cannabis-based medicine and culture from California to Europe.”

When Cookies first formed its partnership with Intercure at the end of 2021, the two firms announced a long-term plan to establish Cookies stores and medical cannabis pharmacies in both Austria and the UK in the first quarter of 2022. There is no sign yet of a Cookies store opening in London.


The advantage of Malta


Obtaining a Maltese manufacturing licence allows Panaxia to immediately start exporting and marketing its medical cannabis products from Malta which late last year became the first EU country to legalise recreational cannabis and the firm has said it will be targeting markets in Germany, Poland and the UK.

Theoe exports currently cannot be made from Israel, where national regulations do not permit the registration of such advanced products. Instead, Panaxia’s products have been submitted for registration in Malta, from where they will be exported to countries that require registration in the country of origin.

Confirming that Panaxia was one of the first companies to obtain a licence from the Maltese health authorities, Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said: “Through such accomplishments, Malta is confirming its emergence as a hub for manufacturing and research in the cannabis eco-system. We are very proud to be part of Panaxia’s journey and look forward to seeing the company grow and thrive locally.”

Panaxia already exports and markets inhaled medical cannabis extracts in Germany and sells its oils in Germany and Cyprus. To do this, it works in partnership with the European pharmaceutical firm Neuraxpharm under the joint brand Naxiva-Panaxol.

The extracts are manufactured by Panaxia to EU-GMP standards and marketed to physicians in Germany by Neuraxpharm. The first sales came in December 2021 after the companies received what they say is the first permit to market extracts for inhalation in Germany.

Panaxia and Neuraxpharm also claim to be the first and only companies in Europe to have a regulatory permit for the distribution of medical cannabis tablets in France under the government programme of the French medicines and health products authority, ANSM.

Lorraine Mullaney CBD-Intel staff

Photo: Cookies Toronto

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