At the beginning of May Israel announced its approval to export medical cannabis, meaning sales outside of the country can now begin. The nation expects to earn millions in revenue from this move.
Economy Minister Eli Cohen said that this is a significant step for exporters and the Israeli industry, which will enable both export opportunities and increased employment in the field, given the worldwide demand for medical cannabis products from Israel.
The order states that anyone who wishes to export certain medical cannabis products from Israel will need to submit an application to obtain a license form the Health ministry.
Cohen gave the final approval for these exports. He wanted to ensure that there was plenty of time to roll things out, so the new order will go into effect in 30 days.
In December 2018, lawmakers voted in favour of the exports bill which was the first part of a Set of reforms okayed in 2016. After a number of hurdles, an inter-ministerial committee made of up officials from the health, finance, public security and foreign affairs ministries recommended in January 2019 that exports should be allowed to proceed in order to turn medical cannabis into a medical product.
The Status of Cannabis in Israel
Medical use of cannabis is permitted in Israel, and although recreational use has been decriminalized it is still illegal. The country estimates that about 60 000 Israelis user medical cannabis and up to 25 tons of cannabis are consumed a year.
Israel, with its favourable climate and expertise in medical and agricultural practices, is one of the largest cannabis producers in the world. So far, there are more than ten farms and five factories that meet standards for export. Some have already worked out agreements to sell cannabis in places like Europe and Canada.