Because there are so many companies coming into the space, it can be hard for quality products and companies to cut through the clutter. There are not enough companies out there, due to regulations or other restrictions, that are able to study the science and medicine behind cannabis.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Eyal Barad, CEO and co-founder of Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc., a U.S. based life sciences company utilizing big data and artificial intelligence to develop cannabinoid-based cancer therapies.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with the ‘backstory” about what brought you to the cannabis space?
As a native of Canada, I had an early interest in the cannabis space. This interest only grew deeper after I began studying alternative medicine later in life. Then, as fate would have it, I got involved early in consulting for Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc., helping the initial CEO.
After immersing myself more in the field, I became more and more convinced of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. This fueled my passion to do everything in my power to drive how we utilize cannabis in healthcare, and the rest is history.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
What has left a lasting impression on me, is the amount of people who have reached out looking for help. Either they or a loved one has been touched by cancer and are looking for any solution they could find. I saw firsthand that there is a real need to find a nontoxic solution. Every day I know there’s a person at the end of our endeavor who is in need, and it continues to keep me motivated every step of the way.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think one “mistake” that I find a little amusing is that I ever let anyone’s doubt effect what my gut told me was right. When we first started Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, there was a lot of skepticism — especially from the medical community. But as time has passed and more data has become available, what’s interesting to see is the faces of the physicians who once doubted, now interested in exploring cannabis as a solution, not only on the palliative side but the therapeutic side as well.
The lesson I learned here is that even if you are less knowledgeable in something, if your gut is telling you to do something — pursue it, and eventually the truth will come out.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Right now, I’m excited about our state-of-the-art lab. Our main project is to provide data that shows cannabinoids can have an anti-tumor effect on cancer. This is a huge task we’ve taken on for a small company, and certainly not an easy one, but our passion and excitement about what we’re doing keeps us on track.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
One person who really impacted me was Ben Weider, my childhood friend’s father. Ben is known as the man who changed the game of sports. He was the president of the International Federation of Body Building and actually built up the entire sport. While I knew him personally as my friend’s father, it was the businessman that I would identify with later in life. During the time I spent at his home, I saw his vision come to life from start to finish. He always had a greater purpose.
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
First of all, we are challenged to think innovatively and disruptively each and every day in our research and development — from the from the patents we write, the ideas we come up with to the technology we develop.
While we’re not yet marketing our product, when the time comes, we will once again be at the forefront of the industry with creative and compelling tactics. At this stage, the web will be a major component and tool we utilize.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
Three things that excite me are:
1) Reintroducing cannabinoids to mankind from a therapeutic perspective.
2) Seeing the evidence of the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids and hearing patients’ testimonies after they’ve been treated.
3) Being a pioneer in the endeavor and a leader bringing about change.
Three things that concern me are:
1. The regulatory environment, worldwide. Many places are still conservative when accepting cannabis as a medicine.
2. The unregulated market and the lack of requirements to control quality. We need to ensure patients are getting pesticide-free medication.
3.The hype around the cannabis market. Because there are so many companies coming into the space, it can be hard for quality products and companies to cut through the clutter. There are not enough companies out there, due to regulations or other restrictions, that are able to study the science and medicine behind cannabis.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
1. The process is both quick and slow — things change, but it takes a while.
2. I wish someone told me policies wouldn’t change as quickly as you’d expect in the adoption of cannabis.
3. I wish someone could have told me where we would be now as a company.
4. I wish someone would have told me how big the cannabis market could really be — take CBD alone for example!
5. I wish someone could have told me what I could expect from and financial groups and banking- however, I think we’d all like to have someone predict this for us.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Believe, trust and support your team. You’re there to help them develop their careers to reach new heights. But most of all — listen. Be willing to hear their ideas and feedback.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would want to limit our carbon foot print by living in a much more natural world. I believe cannabis can be a natural solution- even beyond the medical aspect, there are also economic benefits to the adoption and integration of the compound. As mentioned, I’m honored to be a pioneer in this space and hope joining the current movement underway will bring about the most good to the most amount of people.
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