Israel announced on Tuesday that they will push for increased cannabis legalization. This follows on the heels of a move to relax cannabis laws and the implementation of their ability to export cannabis. 

“The stance of the incoming public security minister is … to minimize harm as much as possible to [otherwise] law-abiding citizens who have offenses linked to the drug,” the ministry announced in a statement after decriminalizing cannabis. 

However, lawmakers now want to take it a step further. A joint statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White announced that this will be done  “via a responsible model that will be suited to the State of Israel and the Israeli population,” However, the statement was vague and brief, not elaborating on how this will be done. 

It did, however, also note that medical cannabis reform is going to be a priority, and that the plan will be brought to the Ministerial Committee once the organization and planning work is completed. There is no specific timetable for when this will be finalized. Kahol Lavan lawmaker Ram Shefa and Likud lawmaker Sharren Haskel, representatives from the two major parties in Israel, are backing the legislation. 

The proposal so far also outlines what legal cannabis would look like in Israel if it passes. Only those 21 and will be able to purchase or use recreational cannabis, and those working security will not be allowed to use recreational cannabis. Driving under the influence of cannabis will be outlined, dispensaries will be set up to operate sales, and there will be restrictions on cannabis advertising. Additionally, an educational fund will use cannabis-generated money to keep youth informed about staying away from cannabis. In short, their legalization plan looks like that of many other countries and U.S. states. 

Israel is already poised to be a leader in cannabis exports, and this would give them the opportunity to also grow an industry within the country’s borders.

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