Israel is known for it's medical marijuana research and may finally be allowed to export the plant, if some Israeli lawmakers have their way. The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legalization gave the initial green light for the export of medical marijuana this past Sunday.
According to the Reuters report, the official who introduced the legislation, Yoav Kisch, says it will help Israel's agricultural industry. He also adds that the bill defines, for the first time, the whole field of medical cannabis and allows regulating its export.
Israel is well-known for it's cannabis research. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, nicknamed "The Father of Cannabis", is organic chemist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
Dr. Mechoulam is hailed as the first person to isolate and synthesize tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.
The country of Israel is a world leader in medical cannabis research, despite its small pool of medical patients. About 23,000 people have medical marijuana permits from the Israeli Health Ministry, and there's only nine licensed suppliers to service the country. Estimates have Israel's marijuana market topping at $15 million to $20 million.
In contrast, America, has a massive market. Now that 28 states have legalized medical marijuana - and eight of those states have gone recreational, some estimate the American cannabis industry could reach up to $50 billion by the year 2027.
Many officials are expected to support the new proposal, however, it could take months for the bill to pass though the Israeli government, called the Knesset.
Supporters of cannabis are optimistic, as Israel recently took steps toward decriminalizing small-scale personal use of the herb. JPost news reports that with support from Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, medical marijuana could soon be easier to obtain legally.
The move to export medical marijuana will surely bring more attention from cannabis investors to Israel.
Experts have estimated that international investments in Israeli companies have already reached about $100 million in the last year alone.