The Israel Police spokesperson today announced that masked and armed robbers raided a medical cannabis farm in northern Israel, taking cannabis and a pistol from the security guards. Policemen called to the site collected evidence and began searching for the robbers. According to information obtained by "Globes," this is the first robbery in the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) area at a farm where medical cannabis is legally grown.
Robbery of a cannabis farm is a scenario taken into account in medical cannabis regulations in Israel. To date, however, no such attempt has been successful. The final cannabis reform, which is currently going into effect, is designed to substantially increase the number of farmers in the sector. Later, when cannabis exports are finally approved (they have already been approved in principle), the plan is for additional companies to be formed in Israel. Adv. Hagit Weinstock, who has accompanied the founding of farms and cooperative ventures in Israel and in exports, believes that 40-50 such farms will be founded in Israel in the coming years.
Approval of exports was delayed, among other things in order to increase the Ministry of Public Security's budget for the purpose of enforcing protection of the farms. In the current case, it appears that this caution is justified. The question now arises, however, whether the police are prepared to protect the farms when the addition money is allocated. More such events are liable to further postpone development in the sector and the transition to exports. If the safety standards for farms are further tightened, the additional cost is also liable to make growing unprofitable.
At present, most of the cannabis reaching the private market is through the patients themselves selling or giving their surpluses to friends and relatives. The reform is designed to decrease the quantity of cannabis received by each patient, and to connect the cost to the quantity in order to reduce this source of illegal cannabis. At the same time, armed robbery cannot be halted by these means.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 31, 2019
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