Israel Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel announced plans for the country to export medical marijuana abroad, estimating that it would take two years for protocols to be in place to allow farmers to grow cannabis, according to a Times of Israel report.
“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 in an interview with Israel Radio.
The announcement comes two months after the government approved a plan to ease restrictions on growing cannabis. Under the plan, proposed by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, there would be no limit on the number of government-approved growers, more doctors would be permitted to write prescriptions, and medical marijuana would be available in pharmacies. There are more than 23,000 medical marijuana patients in Israel.
The Justice Ministry is also considering decriminalizing cannabis. The proposal, backed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, would decriminalize possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis for people over the age of 21. People caught with a personal amount of cannabis in their home would pay a $78 fine, while those caught with a personal amount in public would pay a $390 fine.