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Israel Poised to Become Medical Cannabis Powerhouse

Maureen Meehan

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Already known as a leading global player in clinical testing, Israeli growers have been leveraging clinical trials to produce new strains and providing expertise to deliver medical-grade cannabis products.

“Israeli growers have agreements with companies in the USA, Canada, Czech Republic and Australia. Israel has the oldest and largest regulated medical cannabis programs in the world with over 22,000 registered patients,” said Saul Kaye, founder of iCan and CannaTech, a yearly cannabis innovation and investor summit in Israel, according to the Crunch.

Kaye also explained Hebrew University has a huge bank of cannabis patents, making Israeli the number one country for research and clinical studies in world.

“In the U.S., the DEA does not allow for the transportation of raw materials,” said Dr. Tamir Gedo, CEO of Breath of Life, a manufacturer of pharmacy grade API for companies looking to conduct clinical trials. “A company in New York cannot import enough raw cannabis to conduct the clinical trials.”

Israel has also managed to circumvent the U.N.’s 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs by turning its own Medical Cannabis Unit of the Health Ministry into a national narcotics agency, thus making it a national body, equivalent to the FDA—however, with the important exception that it has publicly declared and accepted the benefits of cannabis.

Israel has already approved a vast number of medical conditions for treatment with cannabis, including cancer, epilepsy, neurological conditions and MS.

Oren Leibovitz, chairman of the Green Leaf party, says Israel is on the point of becoming a major force in medical marijuana if only the government would step out of the way.

“The only thing preventing Israel from becoming a cannabis superpower is the Israeli government,” Leibovitch said.

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