The Israeli parliament voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would pave the way for Israel to start exporting medical cannabis. The approval of this bill by cabinet would allow Israel to be the third country in the world (following the lead of the Netherlands and Canada) to tap into the global medical marijuana market.
iCAN, an Israeli company that specializes in medical cannabis, welcomed the decision in parliament and added that the global medical cannabis market is likely to be worth $33 billion within the coming five years as the stigma directed at marijuana melts away.
This growing demand is likely to be entirely met by the few countries which have passed regulations to certify medical cannabis exports. For example, South Korea recently passed a medical marijuana law, and imports will only be accepted from countries that have approved cannabis products for medical use. Israel is now one potential source for medical cannabis for the South Korea market.
The stock market in Israel welcomed the news of the passing of this bill and cannabis companies registered massive gains (up to 10 percent) late on Tuesday (December 25) as the bill was passed.
However, the passing of this law didn’t come easily. For several years, the draft bill lay in limbo as there was massive opposition from law enforcement towards its enactment. The authorities were apprehensive that a significant portion of the medical marijuana which is exported may find its way onto the global black market.
To address these concerns, the framers of the bill added provisions that gave the Israeli police authority to supervise how medical cannabis export licenses are issued. The law imposes strict regulations upon the exporters, and those who violate that law face huge fines and prison time.
The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) immediately appealed to investors to avoid rushing to put their money in marijuana companies just because legislators had passed a law permitting medical cannabis exports. This appeal was similar to the appeal ISA issued regarding cryptocurrencies approximately one year ago.
The bill permitting the export of medical cannabis was passed just before parliament took a break so that preparations for the early elections called (due in April next year) can take place. Any additional delay would have compelled the House to postpone debate and voting on the bill until after the elections.
The export market is important to Israeli cannabis companies since the domestic market isn’t large enough to keep them growing and thriving. What is now left is for cabinet and Benjamin Netanyahu to approve the bill. However, there is some apprehension that the Prime Minister may avoid playing his hand on this controversial topic until after the elections on April 9, 2019.
Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD), Sproutly Canada, Inc. (OTCQB: SRUTF) (CSE: SPR) (FRA: 38G) and other parties in the cannabis industry welcome the decision in Israel since it will add depth to the existing players at the global level.
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