Being a leading country in medical cannabis related research already, Israel has after an extended period passed the law on medical cannabis exports earlier this week.
The export industry is estimated to net Israel around $265 million in tax revenue every year.
At the forefront of cannabis research since the 60s, thanks to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam who discovered CBD in 1963 and THC a year later, Israel once again can take up a leading role in the medical cannabis science niche becoming one of the major exporters of cannabis and CBD products.
The new law, which still needs to be passed by the Israeli cabinet, requires businesses to apply for a Ministry of Health license, additionally to an already required license to sell cannabis which requires a positive recommendation from the police.
The bill was passed thanks to the inclusion of its tough regulations and also possible jail terms for those who violate the regulations and sell their products to local consumers.
The law had been in the making for most of the year, and could have been passed in April already but Minister of Strategic Affairs and Minister of Public Security Gilda Erdan expressed of public security concerns about the possibility to sell cannabis to local [youth].
“I support the use of marijuana for medical purposes and exporting it to the world in light of [Israel’s] advanced knowledge in the field. But as public security minister, I am obligated to make certain that exports from farms aren’t diverted to illicit use by Israeli citizens, especially the young.”
Mid-December a renewed effort to pass the law was led by the chairman of the Knesset Interior and Enviroment Committee, Yoah Kush, who introduce tougher regulation and also jail terms for offenders.
The law passed Knesset on Christmas Day with 21-0 backing in favor.
While the strict regulations on local use and consumption are deplorable, Israel shows it “get’s it”. $265 million net tax revenue versus zero and a war on drugs. Now we have to wait and hope that the Knesset will further advance its understanding of the product and in a not too distant future will also approve local medical, and even recreational, use.