There is a plus side for legalising cannabis

I see there is a great deal of angst about the push to legalise cannabis.

There is a plus side, and not just from the recreational side:

Earlier this year, the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture officially classified the growing of medical cannabis as a ‘farming sector’, paving the way for marijuana growers to receive government aid, grants, training and water quotas, just like any other eligible farmer.

The Ministries of Health and Finance also recommended legalizing the export of medical cannabis; with Israeli farmers potentially exporting $1 billion worth  of medical cannabis annually. Currently, companies are only allowed to export medical technology for cannabis, but not the plant itself.

Israel is considered a pioneer in marijuana research mainly thanks to Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University, who is known as the father of medical cannabis. Beginning his research in Israel in the 1960s, he was the first scientist in the world to identify various compounds of cannabis, including THC, the chemical known for causing a “high.”

Since then, Israeli researchers have continued to push the boundaries, from using cannabis to kill cancer cells, to applying micro-dosing techniques to heal brain damage. The government is encouraging this research; Israel is one of the few countries where medical cannabis is allowed to be tested in clinical trials on humans.

It also invests resources in the industry. Earlier this year, the Israeli government announced that it would invest $2.13 million in 13 research projects on cannabis, making Israel one of three countries with a government-sponsored cannabis program. In 2016, foreign investors poured $100 million into Israeli cannabis startups, according to Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of cannabis tech startup accelerator iCAN.

Both within and outside of Israel, there is optimism about the country’s potential in the cannabis sector. “There is significant demand for Israeli cannabis,” Clifton Flack, CEO and co-founder of Israeli cannabinoid company CIITECH, said at the recent Cann10 conference held in Israel. “We’ve been talking about this country as the epicenter of research for a number of years.”

There could be significant demand for Kiwi Cannabis…it is going to happen whether you like it or not, so may as well emulate the best legislative environments there are out there and join the green rush. New Zealand grows almost anything better than everywhere else in the world. Just look what we did with the humble Chinese gooseberry.

The legal export and use of medical and recreational cannabis is becoming more common around the world. Some 30 US states have legalized cannabis for medical use, and eight others allow recreational use of the drug. Countries such as Canada and Australia are already exporting the cannabis plant for medical use.

There is an advantage to being one of the first movers in this industry. As research continues to progress, it is likely that we will see the gradual dismantling of regulations against medical cannabis around the globe. This will create more demand in an industry that is already suffering from supply shortages.

“It is a race,” said Mark Chess, managing director at Infinity Venture Partners, at the Cann10 Conference. “Israel has a lead, but we need the continued support and execution of the entire ecosystem to maintain our edge.”

It is a race, but one in which our farmers would have a massive head start.


-No Camels

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.