By Roland Sebestyén
In a historic vote, a preliminary vote by Israel’s Knesset approved a bill that would allow more patients to get access to life-changing medical cannabis products in the future.
The Times of Israel reports that according to the proposal those with a licence granted from the Health Ministry would be able to grow, distribute and possess cannabis for medical purposes.
The paper says the aim is to overcome a “chronic shortage” in medical cannabis in Israel – there are now long lists of patients who have prescriptions but cannot get the medicine they require.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said: “It’s time to release this matter that has been tied for years to unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions, and a real reform needs to be made here that will free up the use of cannabis.
“This is tremendous news for more than 100,000 patients, the most seriously ill of people when most of them live on a disability pension that is entirely wasted on a medicine they need in order to live a routine life.”
The bill was passed by 54-42, and it will now move to the parliament’s (Knesset) Health Committee in order for it to get prepared for a first reading.
Over the last few years, Israel has become one of the leading countries in the European medical cannabis market.
The Israeli Kanabo, for example, became the first medical company to enter the London Stock Exchange earlier this year.
While Kanabo has been really active in the massive German medical cannabis market, the move granted wider access to the European market.
Kanabo’s Chief Executive, Avihu Tamir, told Canex: “We’d like to create the biggest medical cannabis company in Europe, and we’d like to grow with the European market.
“If you look at Europe, it’s maybe five years behind the US. Now we’re getting to the point when people stop arguing whether cannabis is here to stay. It’s the right time to start doing business with medical cannabis in the UK.”
Kanabo is just the very first big Israeli medical cannabis firm that conquers Europe. If the country is serious about making the medicine more accessible, we can expect others to follow suit!