As we celebrate Independence Day here in Israel, it’s a good time to reflect on the many gifts this tiny country has given to the world in her short 69-year history. These contributions span many a varying sector, from HiTech, R&D to Science, Medicine, Agtech and more. What has Israel given the world (beyond Gal Gadot and Natalie Portman…!)?: USB technology, laser keyboards, gesture control, hands-free computers, iron dome missile defense systems, WAZE and.. cherry tomatoes.

In these parts we tend to focus on the Israel-Cannabis connection. We are passionate about the normalization of cannabis and about advancing the science, study and innovation and mainstreaming of cannabis medicine.

We gathered some highlights of what Israel has contributed to the cannabis space in just this last year alone.

The Green Book is the world’s first playbook for regulatory medical cannabis. Not only does it detail plans to commercialize and medicalize cannabis in Israel, it offers a sound model that can be adapted by other governments who want to usher cannabis into the realm of modern medicine.

Shareen Haskel speaking at CannaTech

Medical cannabis has been legal in Israel since the early 90’s, but its commercial reach has been limited until the recent passing of the new reform in the Knesset this past June 2016. It is poised to disrupt the market in a big way.

This new reform paves the way for companies interested in opening a farm, becoming a distributor, a packager or even selling cannabis in their pharmacy. To be sure, the Ministry of Health has outlined a detailed approval process, but this new reform allows new businesses to step into the seed to sale chain.  

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“In the United States, for example, they use recreational marijuana for medical use—that’s like making chicken soup when you have a cold,” Yuval Landschaft told Reuters. “We’re the ones making the antibiotics.”

Syqe medical cannabis inhaler

An industry first, Tel Aviv based Syqe Medical, announced that they have entered a distribution and cooperation agreement to market a medical cannabis inhaler with Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA).

According to Syqe, this partnership marks the first time that a major global pharma company has agreed to market a medical cannabis product. In addition to the distribution agreement, the companies will set up joint support and training for patients and medical professionals using a dedicated team of nurses.

fields of cannabis for export

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel announced earlier this year that Israel would begin exporting medical marijuana abroad, weeks after the government approved measures to make medical cannabis more easily accessible to patients in Israel.

“In two years we will have protocols in place that will allow farmers to grow cannabis,” Ariel told Israel Radio over the weekend, according to Israel’s online Hebrew-language magazine Cannabis.

“The Agriculture Ministry has set up specific areas for the research and trial of growing cannabis, a plant whose foremost use is the medical treatment of patients around the world,” he said.Ariel said he intends to approve the request for exporting Israeli-grown medical marijuana abroad.

participants rejoice at decriminalization rally Tel Aviv

Earlier this January Israel’s Ministry of Justice recommended that cannabis use not be prosecuted criminally, but instead fined or punished by administrative sanctions.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that he supports the decriminalization of cannabis use. “This change will significantly increase entrepreneurship and investment into cannabis in Israel as the old stigma of criminal cannabis disappears. We congratulate and thank MK Sharren Haskel and the many others who helped support this great effort that will no longer label over 1 million Israeli citizens criminals.”

Hebrew University opens new cannabis research center

The new Center will serve as one of the world’s leading institutes for conducting and coordinating research about cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and medical Cannabis. In addition, it will promote collaboration and disseminate information.

Staffed by some of the world’s leading scientists and medical doctors from the Hebrew University and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, the Multidisciplinary Center is already supporting exciting new research.

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Israeli flag waving in wind

The Ministries of Agriculture and Health will provide NIS 8 million in funding for 13 medical cannabis studies. The measure is the first cooperative effort of its kind between the Ministry of Health medical cannabis unit and the Ministry of Agriculture chief scientist unit.

The studies, which will be financed through a fund operated by the chief scientist unit, will deal with biochemical and medical aspects, as well as improving medical cannabis crop yields.

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logo Netafim

With over 30% of the global market share in irrigation, agricultural giant Netafim has taken a bold step into the cannabis mix. “For all the beautiful presentations here [at CannaTech] about providing medicine from cannabis, well, someone needs to grow it. And we are the partners for this.”  

Check out Dubi Raz, Cheif Agronomist of Netafim speaking at CannaTech this past March.

CannaTech 2017 summit Tel Aviv

This year’s CannaTech Summit for Accelerating Cannabis Innovation hit record highs as over 900 guests from over 30 different countries were welcomed, boosting local economy and extending highly subsidized tickets to students and complimentary entry to several medical cannabis advocacy groups. CannaTech showcased the full spectrum of global industry leaders, spanning the fields of science, research, finance, medicine, government policy, tech innovation, agriculture & entrepreneurship, at one outstanding event with a singular focus on cannabis and all the opportunity that surrounds it. Stay tuned for announcements of our UK and Australia dates.

Have anything you think should be added to the list?

Let us know in the comments below! 

 

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