Exporting medical marijuana may soon be on the horizon for Israel.
According to Yediot Ahronot, Israel’s Committee of Directors General plans to recommend cannabis exportation in the next few weeks. The committee, which consists of the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Public Security, and Health, has additionally considered using funds from the country’s marijuana exportation to support the fight against chronic diseases.
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The Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, was the only member of the committee who remained against acquiring an exportation permit for cannabis. Although Health Minister Yaakov Litzman had initially opposed the proposal as well, the use of marijuana exportation funds to study chronic diseases, along with other factors, caused him to eventually change his position.
The next step is approval from the Israeli cabinet, along with passing the necessary legislation that would permit farmers to grow marijuana. In September 2016, Uri Ariel, Israel’s Agriculture Minister, stated that he believed the country will join the international marijuana supply “within two years.”
Should the proposal receive cabinet approval, Israel would join the likes of such countries as Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States, all of which allow cannabis exportation in some form.
In addition, exporting marijuana could generate over NIS 1 billion (approximately $236 million U.S.) for Israel annually, and it would create thousands of agricultural jobs within the country.