Israeli Agricultural Council Prize Awarded to Whole-Plant Cannabis Researcher
Earlier this week at the 2019 Israel Agriculture Council annual conference, Dr. Nirit Bernstein, Ph.D. was awarded the prize of ‘Groundbreaking Woman in Agriculture’ for her important innovative work on whole-plant cannabis science research and development. Dr. Bernstein is a senior researcher, at the Volcani Center and head of the department for environmental physics and irrigation. The nomination committee also commended Dr. Bernstein’s notable activities and success in leading a 3-year public campaign that prevented the translocation and closure of Volcani Center, , working at the political, legal and public relations arenas while serving as the chairperson of the researcher’s union.
As one of the pioneers of whole-plant cannabis research in Israel and the world, Dr. Bernstein’s contributions to the previously almost non-existent body of scientific knowledge have led to the development of new methods of cultivation based on science-based research. Researchers working in Dr. Bernstein’s lab are reducing barriers to the compatibility of cannabis plant material with the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, maximizing the production of standardized cannabinoid profiles.
Dr. Nirit Bernstein at CannaTech Cape Town: Why Israel Leads Global Cannabis Research
A veteran speaker at CannaTech, Dr. Bernstein is a dynamic, engaging and knowledgeable presenter. At CannaTech’s recent Cape Town event, Dr. Bernstein addressed the audience, emphasizing the dearth of scientific data on cannabis plant science when she entered the field and the amazing strides of the past few years:
“If I were studying tomatoes and search for papers on the cultivation of tomatoes, fertilization, irrigation, light intensity and so on, I would probably find about 10,000 scientific papers. If I were studying a more remote plant that no one has heard about, maybe I would find 100 manuscripts. What did I find for cannabis? Zero.”
“But when I opened Dr. Google and searched for popular information, there was a lot of that. So the question I’ve been answering for the last five years is really what can we do in order to bring this crop to the level of high-tech cultivation and agriculture that we have for other crops.”
“Until 2016, no country in the world had developed comprehensive cannabis regulation. Then in 2016, Israel became the first country to apply a medicalization model based on three successive government resolutions. All of a sudden we’re allowed to use cannabis as a medical product and in research in Israel and this opened up huge opportunities.”
…A lot of investors have come to Israel because we have the ability to do economic trials, technology development and R&D and clinical trials.
“In 2016 the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture officially defined cannabis as an agricultural crop, which enabled us to begin receiving government funding for research. That year, together with the Israel Medical Cannabis Unit of the Ministry of Health, we established a Medical Cannabis Research Center to channel the activity of several researchers in our Institute. Since then, many investors have come to Israel and to the Volcani Center, the research center of the Ministry of Agriculture, because we have the ability to do agronomic trials, R&D, and technology development.”
Congratulations, Dr. Bernstein, on this well-earned prize for your research into whole-plant cannabis.
Sincerely, the iCAN family.