After months of playing the “will they or won’t they” game, Israel, the Ross and Rachel of cannabis exports, has agreed to ship marijuana beyond its borders.
Last month, Marijuana.com reported that Israeli cannabis companies were threatening to take their business elsewhere due to a hold on any potential exports by the federal government. The pause button was specifically pressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was reportedly pressured by President Donald Trump in a phone call between the two leaders.
The latest developments show that Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister of Public Security, has consented to a revised export plan. The path forward is due to be submitted for government approval within the coming days.
Israel’s Ministry of Public Security reached an agreement with the Ministry of Finance to allow additional funds for policing cannabis exports when they finally happen.
Despite the growing pains related to Israel’s cannabis sector, the country remains a world leader in cannabis research and development. Data from the Ministry of Finance estimate that Israel has the potential to collect nearly 3.86 billion shekels, or $1.1 billion, annually from exports of legal cannabis and related products.
Close to 400 farmers had applied for permits to grow cannabis before the export issue slowed momentum in the Middle East country.
Per the new agreement, 25 police officers have been assigned to handle cannabis operations and provide export licenses for up to 50 growers. Licenses will be granted for medical cannabis only, and will be for finished products, not raw flower.
Once Israeli exports commence, the country will be the fourth in the world to send cannabis beyond its borders. The others are Canada, Uruguay, and the Netherlands.