Jerusalem, February 6: For the first time, on Sunday the Israel government has given the green signal to export the medical marijuana. This bill aims to legalize and allow the exportation of cannabis in response to global demands for the plant from medical marijuana researchers and business owners.A government statement announcing the vote said it could take months for the legislation to make its way through parliament. The bill is yet to get through parliament but this decision could be a jackpot for the companies in Israel as it is widely regarded as one of the world leaders in medical marijuana research.
The initiator of the bill, MK Yoav Kisch, said the approval of his legislation could boost the Israeli agriculture industry. “Exporting medical cannabis is pushing forward the economy and developing the agricultural sector,” he added. Kisch said that “only last year Canada and Australia approved exporting medical cannabis and many countries that did so before them are gaining large profits. Israel is expected to gain over a billion NIS from its taxation, according to recent research.”
Marijuana is currently only allowed for medical use in Israel by special permission. “Today there are eight companies growing [marijuana] in Israel and there are dozens more requests from business owners wanting to practice, pending the relevant bodies,” said a government statement.
Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN, a private cannabis research hub in Israel, said there are about 50 Israeli medical marijuana companies active in many aspects of the industry, from agriculture to delivery devices, such as inhalers. Kaye estimated that international investments in Israeli companies reached about $100 million in 2016. In 2015, doctors prescribed the herb to about 25,000 patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases. In the US, 28 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and the market is estimated to reach $50 billion over the next decade.