New Hurdles Stall Israeli Cannabis Export
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greenlit the export reform after a two-month delay, but fresh ministerial disputes keep pushing back the final approval
For daily updates, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.In 2016, the Israeli government set in motion a reform that could see Israel become the largest medical cannabis exporter in the world. An Israeli parliamentary committee estimated that cannabis export could bring Israel as much as $1.1 billion a year.
The health ministry and several people at the finance ministry supported a first-come-first-serve method for granting the licenses, the people familiar with the matter said. But the finance ministry’s legal counselor office, headed by Asi Messing, promoted a tender-based procedure, which would considerably lengthen the permit process and distance the start of the export.By Friday noon, when the decision needed to be posted online if it was to be brought up for approval on Sunday, it was already apparent that the two sides would not reach a compromise in time. However, both ministries stress that the approval of the export is a done deal, and the delay is technical and only temporary in nature, these people said.