Key Israeli agencies have reached a new agreement that could have big implications for Israel’s cannabis industry. Now, this country could be close to exporting medical marijuana, further solidifying Israel’s place as a world leader in the legal cannabis market.
New Security Measures
Local news source The Jerusalem Post reported what could be a big breakthrough for Israel’s medical marijuana industry. This week, the country’s Finance Ministry, Health Ministry, and Interior Ministry reached an agreement that could accelerate the country’s plans to export medical marijuana.
More specifically, the governmental agencies have finally settled on details regarding security protocols. Under the agreement, 25 officers from the Israel Police will monitor as many as 50 state-approved medical marijuana grow sites throughout the country.
According to The Jerusalem Post, this most recent development was the outcome of efforts to iron out security details. In particular, the news outlet said that lawmakers were looking for strategies to “prevent medical marijuana falling into the hands of criminal groups.”
Now that the agreement has been reached, Interior Minister Gilad Erdan gave the green light to move forward with plans to begin exporting medical marijuana.
Next up, lawmakers will need to vote on whether or not to pursue the idea. If it gets a positive vote, Israel could soon be exporting medical marijuana to countries throughout the world. At this point, lawmakers have said that the country will only ship cannabis products intended for medical uses. To that end, Israel will not export any form of raw cannabis.
Israel and Cannabis
Israel has established itself as one of the world leaders in medical marijuana. In fact, the idea of exporting medical cannabis products has been in the pipeline for some time. In 2016, national lawmakers gave initial approval to the idea. That formally kicked off the process of writing legislation and building infrastructure to support such a program.
Then, in February 2017, a government committee in charge of overseeing the idea signed off on a plan to export medical marijuana products.
More recently, in September 2017, Israel’s Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel, announced that medical marijuana would be formally recognized as part of the country’s official agricultural activities. At the time, officials estimated that a nationwide cannabis production program could bring in between 1 and 4 billion New Israeli Shekels per year.
Now, this week’s agreement between three branches of the government is moving everything another step forward.
So far, the possibility of becoming one of the world’s first exporters of medical marijuana has attracted some lucrative investments. Reportedly, at least 50 companies have accounted for more than $100 million of overseas investment capital.
Final Hit: This Country Could Be Close To Exporting Medical Marijuana
Alongside its advancements on the medical marijuana front, Israel is also considering some changes on the recreational side of things. Currently, the nation is considering a bill to decriminalize the use of recreational cannabis.
In early March, at the bill’s first official reading, lawmakers voted unanimously in favor of the idea. If the bill becomes law, it would mean that adults caught with weed would typically face a fine rather than jail time.
Early reports said that fines would be 1,000 shekels, or roughly $300 USD. Multiple offenses could eventually result in criminal prosecution. Similarly, minors caught with weed would be required to complete a rehab program or face criminal prosecution.