Israel Government Supports Domestic Production of Medical Marijuana
Posted by Big Buds | August 31 2011 | 8256 views | Comments ↓
Israel legalizing medical marijuana cultivation.
(Click to enlarge)
At the beginning of August 2011, the Israeli cabinet gave it's approval to medical marijuana supply guidelines that explicitly agreed that medical marijuana has legitimate medical uses. This significant move forward for Israeli medical marijuana is the latest in the country's 12 year march towards medical marijuana acceptance, and is interesting for the fact that it focuses on a centrally controlled supply side of the medical marijuana chain—supporting domestic cultivation by local growers.
Medical marijuana is not new to Israel. In 1999, the Israeli government approved the limited legalization of medical cannabis. Five years later, the Israeli military began using Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, for experimental treatment of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of soldiers and for treating victims of sexual assault. Up until 2005, only ten people were supposed to be given the prescription for medical marijuana. The Health Ministry allowed these patients to independently cultivate up to 10 cannabis plants and to possess up to 200g of processed plants. But that didn't stop many more patients from obtaining medical marijuana from various black-market suppliers.
Eventually, there were amendments in the law which allowed more patients to seek relief using medical marijuana, leading to a 2008 approval of limited use by the Israeli Health Ministry. Currently, medical marijuana is supplied solely by local growers to some 6000 patients, but it is estimated to rise to 40,000 by 2016. All of these patients are technically overseen by one physician, Dr. Yehuda Baruch, psychiatrist at Abarbanel State Mental Health Center.
The new regulations passed by the Israeli cabinet continues to focus on domestic production because imports would be tenfold more expensive. This decision was made despite protest by law enforcement who fear that domestically grown medical marijuana could be more easily diverted to recreational users.
To regulate the domestic production of medical marijuana, the Director General of the Health Ministry, Dr. Ronni Gamzi, has decided to establish a unit within the ministry to manage the supervision and supply of medical marijuana. The Israeli Pharmacists Association is seeking to be included in the expanding distribution program for medical marijuana in Israel, no doubt seeing it as a growth market.
Israel's sub-tropical environment, with warm weather and long days, is ideal for outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana. Often, only water supply is of concern for growers, and is easily achieved using traditional irrigation techniques.
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Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Article by Big Buds, on Aug. 31st 2011