It was early 2016 when Clifton Flack, CEO and founder of CiiTECH, had his first CBD experience, while sitting in a beach bar in bustling Tel Aviv.
An old friend was in the country for a global cannabis summit, having just launched his own CBD (or cannabidiol) business in Camden Town.
CBD is a natural compound that can be extracted from hemp or cannabis, thanks to Israeli scientists who discovered how to isolate specific cannabinoids that benefit the user without intoxication.
“Business was off the charts for him,” says Flack of his friend. “I tried his vape and tincture and was blown away.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Flack entered the emerging medical cannabis industry by helping co-found iCAN Israel-Cannabis and CannaTech, the international conference on medical cannabis innovation and investment with good friends Saul Kaye and Jason Ryker. This summit brought the global industry to Israel to discover the latest research in the sector.
“With Israel quickly rising to the forefront of the cannabis sector, and after a number of years building and working within the cannabis community, I saw the opportunity to stop talking and start doing.”
In 2017, CiiTECH was born: a brand-building consumer-focused company dedicated to ongoing cannabis research and the commercialisation of CBD, both in England and Israel. CiiTECH acts as an umbrella brand for a number of spin-off lines within the blooming global health and wellness market. As an unregulated CBD industry began to boom, a new need to guide, educate and protect consumer rights became apparent.
“This meant setting the bar for new industry standards via a house of science-led brands that utilise deep sector knowledge together with real consumer needs,” says Flack.
“From my vantage point in Israel, I saw how misguided perceptions favoured the psychoactive medical cannabis, which has to be smoked, at the expense of the more naturally therapeutic CBD, which is not psychoactive and so can be bought and consumed like any other food supplement.
“This is how Provacan, the CiiTECH flagship brand, was established back in 2017, bringing a pharmacy-grade CBD brand to market.”
The CBD oils have even been supervised by the rabbinical authority of the Kosher London Beth Din, the leading force in kosher certification for more than a century.
Today, CiiTECH brands are available through much of Europe, South Africa and Brazil, and are quickly expanding.
The most common reasons why Provacan customers use CBD oils is for easing worry, promoting a healthy quality of sleep and for everyday balance and well-being.
Nothing makes Flack prouder than when a customer tells him how much his products have changed their lives.
“We believe 100 percent in the work we are doing, partnerships we are building and products we are creating. Our science-led approach to development ensures our products are safe, effective and trustworthy, which is why I think Provacan, our flagship consumer brand, has had such a good response within the UK market.
“Seeing an important gap in industry knowledge, we recently launched a cannabis healthcare education course for pharmacists. Hearing back from course alumni of how their knowledge and ability to recommend CBD to customers has blossomed, we feel that pharmacists hold the keys to the industry.”
As to what differentiates his products from others on the market, Flack says: “Our priority is high-quality ingredients. We never compromise on the quality of the products and believe that this has contributed to the thousands of loyal monthly customers. As a company to entrust your health with, our dedication to research sets us apart.”
The company has invested in three clinical studies to unravel the potential for cannabis to treat asthma, diabetes and obesity.
“As the world races towards cannabis reform, the medical and scientific world is catching up. Our knowledge of the plant is far from complete. CiiTECH is working on understanding the vast range of minor cannabinoids, starting with CBD, so we can better understand the cannabis plant and bring effective medicines and supplements to consumers.”
While Provacan offers a host of topical CBD products, such as shampoo and aftersun, as well as a range of oils, it is the capsules and balms that continually remain bestsellers. While he obviously supports all the products his companies bring to market, Flack does reluctantly choose his own personal hero item.
“It has to be our 1,200mg Provacan CBD oil. It is the most popular product and strength, and it has been one of the first products of the Provacan brand. Next is our 900mg CBD Balm, which is one of the highest strength CBD balms on the market.”
A new range of products is about to launch in the UK and Israel, including a Provacan THC range, which will be prescribed as medical cannabis.
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