Israel to Commence Medical Cannabis Exports

The state of Israel is set to commence cannabis export. The decision came after an inter-ministerial committee approved the move on Sunday.

The inter-ministerial assembly was headed by Finance Ministry director-general Shai Babad and Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov, along with representatives from the ministries of agriculture and rural development, internal security, justice, economics, and industry.

Economic potential

The committee looked into the various areas of involvement that exporting medical cannabis will traverse, including how it will benefit Israel’s economy, the legal considerations internally and with its trade partners, as well as its regulatory concerns from cultivation to export.

Per current estimations, the state is projected to gain NIS 1 billion to NIS 4 billion in revenues from cannabis exports on an annual basis. And given that the price of medical cannabis is still rising, that number could potentially increase.

In good standing

The committee believes the state is in a good position to answer to the international demand for medical marijuana. Israel has the edge when it comes to research, clinical experience, a climate fit for cannabis cultivation, and advanced regulation.

Speaking of regulation, the assembly also forwarded some restriction recommendations on exports such as:

a.) Close monitoring of cannabis export which shall be carried out by the health ministry or by the parties, directly.
b.) Exporting only to countries that allow medical marijuana usage. These countries should also allow Israel import explicitly.
c.) Approval of export only to farmers duly licensed by the health ministry.

Speaking about the economic potential of cannabis exports to Israel, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has this to say:

“The export of medical cannabis is an industry with significant economic potential for the State of Israel and will strengthen Israeli agriculture in general and agriculture in the Arava region in particular. It will serve as an opportunity for the country to exploit its relative advantage in developing medical products from medical cannabis.”

Meanwhile, although opposed to the move himself, Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman nods to the decision, giving merit to the committee’s work to examine the complexity of the situation. He seeks to seize the best outcome from the decision.

“We will ensure that our health sector benefits as a result of the increase in state revenues,” Litzman says.

Israel will export all forms of medical cannabis including tablets, smokables, and oils.

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