The Knesset approved in a preliminary vote on Wednesday a bill that would create major reforms in the medical cannabis industry in Israel, and expand its ease of access. Ra’am, the coalition’s Arab party, which previously opposed a similar bill that would have also decriminalized recreational marijuana usage, voted in favor of the legislation proposed by MK Sharren Haskel of the New Hope party. Some in the opposition were apparently taken by surprise at Ra’am’s vote for the bill, which they had anticipated would be defeated. Under the terms of the bill, those granted a license from the Health Ministry will be legally allowed to grow, distribute and possess cannabis for medical purposes. The new regulations are aimed at overcoming a chronic shortage in medical cannabis available to those with a prescription, due to strict regulations over producers. Israel has taken steps in recent years to make medical cannabis more readily available and is poised to become a major exporter of the crop, though local users have complained of near-impossible access to the few dispensaries licensed to distribute it.
Sean Hocking, Cannabis Law Report, 10/17/2021 18:34:00