Israeli cabinet set to approve cannabis exports

Medical cannabis Photo: Shutterstock

Following Knesset legislation and the recommendation of the Health Ministry, medical cannabis exports are set to be given the green light.

Israel's Ministry of Finance has said that the cabinet will approve medical cannabis exports in its next weekly meeting. "On Sunday, the cabinet is expected to approve the export of medical products based on medical cannabis in accordance with the recommendations by the committee to examine the feasibility of medical cannabis exports headed by Ministry of Finance director general Shai Babad and Ministry of Health director general Moshe Bar Simon, and which submitted its findings to the Ministers of Finance and Health in August 2017."

Following the statement, medical cannabis companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, rose by double digit percentage figures.

The proposal to allow medical cannabis exports will now be brought to the cabinet after the Knesset passed an amendment on the matter and the issue has been coordinated with the relevant ministries.

There is still a chance that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will try to block the approval although this will become clear when the agenda for Sunday's cabinet meeting is published later today.

Under the proposal, medical cannabis exporters will be required to receive approval from a regulator at the Ministry of Health. According to National Economic Council chairman Prof. Avi Simhon, who was appointed by Netanyahu to examine the matter, the export potential for medical cannabis is NIS 250 million per year. This seems more realistic in light of the competition from other countries than the NIS 4 billion touted last year by Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel.

One critical factor concerns the potential target markets, which are mainly Germany and Canada. With Canada the legal situation regarding imports is unclear and each product wil probably need separate approval.

Babad said, "Israeli technology is blazing a trail in the medical cannabis sector and has succeeded in producing the most advanced medical cannabis products in the world from the cannabis plant, which significantly improves the quality of life and the ability to cope of millions of patients consuming medical cannabis as a daily medication. I welcome the decision to put this on the cabinet's agenda and which will result in the development of the economy. I thank all the ministries that were a party to forming this policy."

Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel said, "By approving medical cannabis exports, we will open up a new sector for Israeli farmers that will strengthen all of the country's agriculture. Due to Israeli regulation, the products produced according to the strictest standards will allow the export of products of the highest quality medical standards.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 24, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Medical cannabis Photo: Shutterstock
Medical cannabis Photo: Shutterstock
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