Israel will likely allow exports of medical cannabis by the end of the year, a top lawmaker said on Thursday, a move that would boost state coffers and slow the growing number of firms establishing farms abroad.
Israeli companies – befitting from a favourable climate and expertise in medical and agricultural technologies – are among the world’s biggest producers of medical cannabis.
The finance and health ministries estimate exports could bring in about $1 billion a year – but some MPs have up to now stopped Israeli-grown cannabis going abroad, fearing more cultivation could push more drugs onto the streets at home.
Things changed when Yoav Kisch, chairman of parliament’s internal affairs and environment committee, submitted a bill to allow exports that imposed tougher regulations on exporters and threatened jail terms and hefty fines for violations.
That passed its first of three votes in parliament last week, and is back with Kisch’s committee for revisions. “I aim to finish the legislation by the end of the year,” Kisch told Reuters.
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