New Israeli law allows export of medical cannabis

Knesset passes bill allowing farmers to export medical cannabis. Move expected to generate 1 billions shekels in revenue annually.


Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis

Israeli lawmakers have given final approval to a law enabling farmers to export medical cannabis, parliament said Wednesday, a move expected to generate significant revenue for the state.

The law passed Tuesday conditions growing cannabis on a health ministry license, with police providing approval and monitoring growers and investors, according to its explanatory notes.

The medical cannabis export market was expected to generate the state income of a billion shekels ($265 million, 234 million euros) per year.

Yoav Kisch of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party, who penned the law, noted its "huge economic potential" for the state and farmers, calling medical cannabis "a blessed product that eases the suffering of the sick".

There are currently eight companies in Israel growing medical cannabis, with many more awaiting to receive permission from the authorities, a statement from parliament read.

In 2016 Israel approved the use of medical cannabis, and last year the public security ministry partially decriminalized marijuana use, setting fines and treatment for initial use instead of criminal procedures.

Israeli producers were expected to begin exporting within six months, according to iCAN, an Israel-based firm promoting medical cannabis technologies.

iCAN CEO Saul Kaye called the law "long overdue but welcome".

"Israel, already the most advanced nation in cannabis R&D, will now be able to produce and market cannabis and cannabis-based products that will help millions of people suffering from illnesses," he said in a statement.

Nearly two dozen countries have legalized medical marijuana use.