"Cannabis, as a natural treatment various diseases, is one of the most sought after products in the natural medicine market worldwide."
The Israeli cannabis market opened the year with sensational news: the local government declared they finally agree to open the export of cannabis from Israel to foreign countries “It’s a holiday for the Israeli agriculture industry” say the farmers.
Mazal Tov! After years of struggle and arguments, the Israeli government announced that it approved the export of cannabis. This move will open the local medical cannabis market to new companies, after more than a decade during which the market held only 8 cultivating companies and just one cannabis factory.
Hundreds of farmers and entrepreneurs are now expected to rush their activities, including the establishment of breeding farms and additional packaging factories through which cannabis products will be distributed to patients in Israel and abroad.
“great news for the State of Israel”
Unlike other countries with a medical Cannabis program where medical permit can be acquired relatively simply and for simple symptoms (for example Lack of sleep or headaches), in Israel the process requires a lengthy and cumbersome procedure, including countless meetings with doctors, filling and filing documents and even proof Purchase of “conventional” drugs before receiving permission for a cannabis treatment.
For this reason, the stockpile of patients treated with medical Cannabis in Israel remained relatively small at around 30,000 patients. Which naturally causes many Cannabis companies to seek additional income in other overseas markets.
For this reason, the declaration opening the cannabis market for exportation gave birth to a tremendous euphoria and a burst of happiness “This is great news for the State of Israel, the Israeli farmers and millions of patients and patients in the world!” says Dubi Amitai, The head of the Israeli farmers Union, “Cannabis, as a natural treatment various diseases, is one of the most sought after products in the natural medicine market worldwide.”
Yaakov Litzman, The Israeli Health Minister, seemed very satisfied as well: “I supported the export of medical cannabis because of the economic contribution to the Israeli economy, and after we reached an agreement with the Ministry of Finance to direct some of the resources to the health system. This is a dramatic move that was approved only after it passed all the meticulous procedures by professionals in Israel, in full cooperation with the relevant government ministries.”
Is Israel unprepared?
According to the arrangement, during the first stage of the program, it will be possible to export cannabis only in the form of buds and oils, without any raw materials (such as plant genetics or seeds for example) – only packaged and ready-to-use products.
Also, it appears that in practice, the exportation from Israel will begin only at the end of the year 2019, since there is still a lot of bureaucracy and adjustments to be done. Despite the great exaltation which came with the news of export approval, it seems as if most Israeli Cannabis companies were not ready for this move:
Currently, there are only three Israeli Cannabis companies which provided the relevant documents and complied with the stringent requirements entitling Permit to export cannabis abroad.
“the government only cares about making money”
The biggest obstacle of the cannabis exportation from Israel will be the fact that currently, most of the countries in Europe and North America are not interested in the commodity and prefer to develop their own local cannabis market.
Thus, for example, some of the Israeli Cannabis companies declared they have signed contracts regarding to exporting Cannabis from Israel to Canada, even though the Canadian health ministry declared they still don’t allow any export of cannabis to the country.
Another kind of criticism that is being heard a lot after the government decision to approve the export of cannabis comes from the Israeli legalization activists, that fell once again that their government prefers making big money abroad and business with foreign companies – before legalizing the cannabis plant for the local citizens:
“It’s the biggest absurd ever,” tells us, Ronen, a local legalization activist, “we are living in 2019 and normative, hard-working Israelis are still getting arrested each day for growing a plant or smoking a herb – but the government only cares about making money from the ‘goyim’ (the gentile), so Kudos to them”
By Ziv Genesove
Published originally in Weed World Magazine issue 140
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