Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Israel Set To Decriminalize Weed As More Marijuana Businesses Join The Emerging Market

Israel has long dominated the cannabis industry in terms of breakthrough research and an emerging marketplace.

By Jelena Martinovic

It seems that Israel is taking steps toward the legalization of recreational cannabis, with the government considering fully decriminalizing adult use.

President Isaac Herzog and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced Sunday that the government is also considering expunging criminal records of those convicted of personal possession or cannabis use, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel May Soon Legalize Recreational Cannabis
Photo by Sander Crombach via Unsplash

Once the new regulations are approved, Israelis with a possession or personal use conviction will be able to have their records cleared upon submitting a request with the Justice Ministry, once it is filed for the president to decide upon.

In February, Sa’ar submitted his decriminalization of marijuana plan, which seeks to recategorize cannabis-related offenses from criminal to civil offenses, for public comment, according to the news outlet. The move will “lift the criminal labeling and the stain that accompanies it” and it builds on a proposal that was put forward to amend the Administrative Rules and Order law.’

Currently, cannabis use is partially decriminalized in the Middle Eastern country, with the first two incidents resulting in fines and an indictment filed only upon the fourth offense.

Once Sa’ar signs the regulations — which is expected in the coming days — approval followed by an immediate implementation is anticipated in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) shortly thereafter.

A Mecca For Cannabis Companies

In the meantime, more than 100,000 Israelis hold medical marijuana permits.

Israel has long dominated the cannabis industry in terms of breakthrough research and an emerging marketplace.

Major players have been in the market for some time, and new ones are joining on a regular basis.

International operator IM Cannabis (NASDAQ:IMCC) announced several Israeli market acquisitions in late July, totaling $3.7 million in further investments into the country.

In early July, Curaleaf Holdings Inc (CSE:CURA) (OTCQX:CURLFexported more than one metric ton of medical cannabis to Israel as part of a larger supply deal with BOL Pharma.

RELATED: Israeli Study Shows Promising Medical Marijuana Results For Trauma

Major U.S. cannabis brand Cookies also got involved last April through a production deal with Israeli brand InterCure Ltd. (NASDAQ:INCR), which is doing business as Canndoc, which recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cann Pharmaceutical Ltd., also known as Better, for $35 million. That deal is expected to strengthen its position as the largest, fastest-growing, and most profitable cannabis company outside North America.

Canadian cannabis companies The Flowr Corporation (TSXV:FLWR) (OTC:FLWPF) and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB) kicked off 2022 with the completion of medical cannabis shipments to Israel.

Flowr’s first shipment of $825,000 worth of weed was a part of a previously announced international supply deal with Focus Medical Herbs Ltd., which has a supply deal in Israel with IM Cannabis. Aurora’s shipment was its largest to date, worth CA$10 million ($7.8 million).

Israeli Firm Says Medical Marijuana Best Taken In Microdosing Format
Photo by Esther Kelleter/EyeEm/Getty Images

Cannabis Research Breakthroughs

In 2020 Israeli scientists launched clinical trials into whether cannabis can effectively stop or slow the coronavirus. Three clinical trials utilized CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties as a potential COVID-19 treatment.

In February, a clinical trial conducted by Soroka University Medical Center and Israeli medical cannabis company Cannbit-Tikun Olam (TASE: TKUN) showed promising results, especially for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

RELATED: Israel: Cannabis Powerhouse

Cannabotech, an Israeli biotech firm, recently released the results of an investigation conducted by physicians at the Hadassah Medical Center that revealed the effectiveness of CannaboBreast medications for breast cancer with the protocols involving treatment aimed at biological and hormonal processes combined with chemotherapy. They found a sixfold improvement in reducing cancer cells compared to existing treatment.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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