The Israeli cabinet is all set to legalize the export of cannabidiol and its derivatives. The legalization is strictly limited to the export of medical cannabis products and not the raw material. The government will properly enforce the law; more than 25 police officers will be appointed to monitor growers to follow the legal course.
The stringent rules put Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s fears to rest that legalization could fuel criminal use of cannabis. He favored the use of the plant for medical purposes but worried that export legalization might lead to illicit use by Israeli citizens. As a result, he had proposed a reservation to ensure that citizens do not misuse the products. The government took note of this reservation and announced strict controls to avoid this issue.
The new law will provide licenses to export medical cannabis products to 50 growers. The export will be limited to finished products for medical purposes only. The plant will be strictly prohibited in the form of seeds, dry leaves, or stems.
Even though the law was proposed a year back, the uncertainty around the policies left the industry in doubt. Furthermore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to delay further processing in the industry in response to the concerns of the public security minister. As a result, several companies lost values in their ascending share prices after entering strategic tie-ups.
Even though the new law can boost the Israeli economy, it comes with its own set of limitations. Growers are concerned about the “finished products” term, as the law does not define it completely. In spite of this, the Israel Farmers Union has welcomed the decision of legalizing exports to help patients avail the therapeutic benefits of CBD.
The global market for medical cannabis accounted for $11.4 billion in 2015. The industry is expected to touch $20 billion by 2020, predicts Bank of America.