Israel Is Shutting Down Idea To Export Cannabis To The U.S.
This month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put cannabis exportation projects on hold due to an unpleasant call from White House. Israel’s Channel 2 News reports that President Donald Trump called Netanyahu to tell his objection to Israel’s medicinal marijuana export plans.
Trump has mostly refrained from appearing personally against the flourishing cannabis industry, leaving the dirty job to Jeff Sessions. But not in foreign affairs.
According to the report, Netanyahu first disclosed his decision to shut down export to the ministers of agriculture, finance, and health in a meeting. He was clear about not upsetting the Trump administration. It’s unfortunate, because the Finance and Health Ministries have only recently approved exportation of cannabis.
The question is whether Netanyahu’s new policy will last for long or not. Currently, the prime minister is facing bribery allegations. He has taken “gifts” from businesspeople. The attorney general may decide to indict him but Netanyahu is insisting that his government is stable despite the allegations.
Furthermore, Trump’s meddling has left Israel’s medicinal marijuana companies in jeopardy. The Ministry of Agriculture had estimated the Israeli exports could amount to $1 billion. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible as exportation is halted.
Although Israel is the leading country of cannabis research and medical use, the internal market is comparatively small. The population is 8.5 million which is about the same size as New York City. Therefore, companies were looking forward to entering the American market.
Scientists Studied The Plant Tremendously
Scientists from Israel have contributed tremendously to the study of cannabis. Professor Raphael Mechoulam and his research group were the first who did the total synthesis of THC in cannabis. A latest important study by Israeli researchers is about the effects of marijuana on elderly patients. This new research recorded by the NCBI shows that cannabis therapies can cut chronic pain significantly in patients over 65 with no side effects. More studies have proven the importance of cannabis for pharmaceutical use.
Then why hasn’t Israel’s cannabis industry taken off? The reason isn’t just Donald Trump.
One plausible answer comes from the editorial of The Jerusalem Post. They draw the attention to one simple rule: follow the money. In order to sell their addictive and dangerous “medicines” such as opioids and steroids pharmaceutical companies may have hitherto prevented the growth of the cannabis industry. There hasn’t been anyone else in the country who would possibly believe that cannabis is “bad” and lobby against it other than “legal” authorities. There are many individuals supporting the plant such as Judaism, state citizens, scientists, farmers and companies who all want to contribute to scale cannabis upward.
In addition, Israel will have to work their way around the prohibition of exporting cannabis goods into the U.S. After all, there must be plenty of other countries they can export to right?
Was Israel Actually Planning on Halting Cannabis Exportation?
Moreover, the Israeli bureaucracy is slowly sending out their medical cannabis goods to awaiting patients, yet some patients need it sooner than not. This may have led to the shutdown of their exportation since delivery was slow.
It explains why Netanyahu became easily tempted to shut down their exportation plans after Trump’s call. Domestic pressure by the lobbyists had already made many Israeli politicians search for an excuse to shut down the export. President Trump’s little call just granted their wish.
The future of cannabis will continue rise no matter how many others try to push the plant away. All in all, we don’t really know what happened as no one was there. We only know what we’re being told which is why we must do our own research to determine for ourselves.