Legalization of cannabis in Israel, when?
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Update Nov-2021: Cannabis is illegal in Israel, though it has been partially decriminalized for recreational use, meaning that the first two violations will result in civil fines as opposed to criminal charges.
Global demand for cannabis has steadily risen since the American states of Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012. Cannabis sales in the United States alone totaled $17.5 billion in 2020, according to BDSA, a cannabis sales data platform.
Israeli cannabis startup “StickIt” announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with Green Globe International’s subsidiary “Hempacco”, a leader in the production of Herb and Hemp cigarettes, on Thursday morning to produce "cannabis sticks" – StickIts signature product, a stick (reminiscent of a toothpick) of non-oil “CBD” cannabis components that can easily be inserted into any cigarette.
Hempacco and StickIt intend to produce about 10 million “cannabis sticks” every month for export to the USA and Mexico. The factory will be built in California, USA, and is expected to become operational in January 2022.
Medical marijuana has been permitted in Israel since the early 1990s for cancer patients and those with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and other chronic pain disorders. In 2004, the IDF began using THC for experimental treatment of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) in soldiers.
Cannabis has been studied in Israel since 1964 when Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University and Yechiel Gaoni of the Weizmann Institute isolated the THC component from a cannabis plant.
A 2017 survey by the Israeli Anti Drug Authority found that 27% of Israelis between the ages of 18 and 65 had consumed cannabis in the last year, up from 8.8% in 2009, giving Israel the highest rate of annual cannabis usage in the world, followed by Iceland and the US at 18% and 16% respectively.
2019: The Israeli government is expected to approve the export of medical cannabis.
After three years of discussions, the government is expected to approve the export of medical cannabis from Israel.
According to the inter-ministerial committee, which will be approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the export of cannabis-based medical products, such as inflorescence and oils, will be approved abroad.
A $30 million cannabis technology venture capital fund is under establishment by Jerusalem-based global investment platform OurCrowdand the 7thirty Opportunity Fund of Boulder, Colorado.
The new fund will invest in emerging companies involved in med-tech, ag-tech, retail, e-commerce, marketplaces, SaaS solutions, and deep-tech research related to cannabis.