Israel’s cabinet has approved a law allowing the export of medical cannabis by local companies.
The move is part of the Israeli government’s efforts to boost revenues and promote the country’s agricultural sector.
The bill, passed by the Israeli Parliament the Knesset in December, authorizes regulated companies to sell medical cannabis to overseas customers, according to a report by Reuters.
Further, the legislation permits police to supervise cannabis farms and issue approvals for cultivating, growing and exporting of cannabis and cannabis-related products. The law imposes tough regulations on exporters and includes jail terms and hefty fines for violations.
Exports are expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year. The government estimates that exports could increase tax revenue by 1 billion shekels or $273 million, according to the report.
Climate and technology makes Israel an ideal place for cannabis cultivation. Currently, there are eight companies that cultivate cannabis in Israel. Meanwhile, there are a handful of companies that are still looking for approval to enter the cannabis market. Media reports suggest that the Israeli government received requests from dozens of business owners for cannabis export.
“Israel is a medical cannabis power,” Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel said, as reported by news outlet Forbes. “The Israeli research conditions for growth in the field precede most countries in the world by five to seven years due to progressive regulation,” he said, strangely taking credit for private technological innovation by way of government regulation somehow.