Could Israel become the world’s next major marijuana market?
There are certainly indications that could come to fruition, according to the Jerusalem Post.
- The Calcalist, a leading Israeli business newspaper, reported last month that Philip Morris is preparing to invest $20 million in Syqe Medical, an Israeli startup that has developed a medical cannabis inhaler.
- In October, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told the Jerusalem Post that his state is interested in cooperating with Israel on cannabis research.
- In August, the insurance group Israel Loss Adjusters Association said that the economic potential of cannabis in Israel is greater than the country’s natural gas industry, while in May, Israel’s Police Inspector-General, Yohanan Danino, suggested that the country should consider relaxing its criminal penalties on cannabis.
Israel has also been a draw for marijuana researchers, including Dr. Alan Shackelford, one of the first doctors to recommend the Charlotte’s Web strain of medical cannabis. Shackelford moved to Israel because the country allows far more leeway than the United States for marijuana research, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Nearly 20 countries have legalized cannabis possession and consumption to some degree (primarily for medical purposes), including Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, Italy and Uruguay.