Once again politics continue to play a role in the advancement of cannabis reform. Many are aware that President Trump recently declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel amid international controversy over the announcement. To many, may indicate favor towards Israel, but it does not translate to an agreement on cannabis exportation to the U.S. in the eyes of President Trump.
Israel had decided not to go forward with its plan to export cannabis to the U.S. recently. A decision that could generate over $1 billion U.S. dollars annually to the country. However, this past April 13th, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner made an announcement of a deal reached with President Trump that would protect states that have voted for legalization and would avert any interference by federal authorities. With Trump’s latest thoughts on cannabis reform, could this indicate potential for Israel to move forward with its plan to export?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested that the plan be halted despite approval from the Health and Finance ministries. He explained to ministry heads that he did not want to be the pioneer of the exportation of cannabis to the U.S. if it were to anger President Trump. Netanyahu said that it would not serve Israeli interests to go against the U.S. administration policy. Those ministers who are in support of becoming a world producer and exporter of cannabis would still like to fan the fire.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently visited the Seach medical cannabis farm north of the country and stated… “I was impressed by how important medical cannabis is to so many patients. Israel can become an exporter of medical cannabis with an income worth NIS 4 billion a year ($1.14 billion). We must not miss the train. Today we are the locomotive; if we hesitate, we will become the trailers.” The move could make Israel a top world leader in the production and exportation of cannabis. Shaked expressed via social media that Israel needed to continue to strive to develop medical cannabis exports to avoid missing a huge opportunity. Currently, Canada is the only country that has approval to export medical cannabis.
Via her Facebook page, Shaked said there would be a government level discussion on medical cannabis production. She noted that she’d work to convince Netanyahu on not missing the opportunity for billions of dollars which would be largely beneficial for the Israeli economy. “I am sure that when we sit with the prime minister and we lay out for him all the details the correct decision will be taken,” Shaked stated. Shaked also mentioned via Facebook video that cannabis should not be considered a narcotic… but a medicine.
There are about 50 Israeli medical cannabis companies working on cultivating plants and/or producing delivery devices. One of those companies, Tikun Olam, located near the northern city of Safed in Israel, has expanded, working in Las Vegas, NV, a few miles from Trump Tower, and contributing tax revenue to the state of Nevada. Israel’s hopes to move forward with U.S. cannabis exportation just might be getting closer. The question is, will Trump’s new tariff war threats add another halt to Israel’s progress?
By Tracy Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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