Israel's inter-ministerial-director generals committee will recommend within the next few weeks that Israel should become an exporter of medical cannabis, "Yediot Ahronot" reports in its morning edition. Exporting cannabis could earn over NIS 1 billion annually and create thousands of jobs in agriculture.
Dozens of countries worldwide have expressed interest in importing medical cannabis from Israel that would be sold through pharmacies as a prescription drug. There have even been talks, the Israeli daily newspaper adds, with overseas bodies on the matter of such imports in the not very distant future.
Israel officially approved the use of medical cannabis several months ago after it was proven beyond doubt that such use causes pain relief and can even extend lives in certain circumstances in terminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.
Yediot Ahronot reports that the inter-ministerial committee of director generals is comprised of the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Public Security and Health and that three of the four ministers concerned support the idea of an export permit for medical cannabis exports. Only Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan is opposed to the step, according to "Yediot Ahronot", because he fears that such a step would flood the local market with easily available cannabis for non-medical use.
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman had initially been opposed to the move but was in part persuaded by proposals to set up a fund from the government's take on cannabis exports, which would be used in the ministry's war against chronic diseases.
Israel would become one of the few countries in the world exporting medical cannabis and would be following in the footsteps of the US, which recently allowed such exports. Many universities and hospitals worldwide are eager to import cannabis for research purposes, while pharmaceutical companies are considering options for using cannabis as a source for sedation.
In order to make cannabis exports possible, cabinet approval will be required as well as Knesset legislation to allow farmers to grow cannabis, "Yediot Ahronot" concludes.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 8, 2016
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