Israel to increase import requirements, limiting cannabis export opportunities

The Israeli Ministry of Health informed domestic licensed producers that it is strengthening the quality requirements for medical cannabis imports.

In an email addressed to “importers,” Tal Lavy of the pharmaceutical division of the Ministry of Health – the competent national authority under the international drug control treaties – said Israeli authorities will start reviewing the quality certificates of suppliers intending to export to Israel “in the coming days.”

Marijuana Business Daily viewed the email.

In addition to verifying that foreign producers are licensed by their respective national authorities, the email says quality certificates will be required.

These include EU-GMP approval or equivalent for the post-harvesting facility, as well as for the manufacture of finished products.

Because not all companies currently exporting flower to Israel have the certification, the move could have a significant impact.

It could make it more challenging to export to the country, which became the No. 1 flower importer in the world this year.

It also underlines the risk of creating public policy or business plans too dependent on medical cannabis exports, as countries importing meaningful quantities of cannabis are few and far between. And almost all public policies are designed to reduce the dependency on cannabis imports in the long run.

The email sent by the Israeli authority also mentions that imports from Uruguay will not occur for the time being, because “we have received a notice from the competent authority in Uruguay that they will not be able to issue export permits for medical cannabis according to our requirements.”

This is despite a recent change in the Uruguayan regulations that were approved by the South American government to facilitate exports.

MJBizDaily reached out to the Israeli Medical Cannabis Unit, the Uruguayan competent authority for narcotics exports, as well as Fotmer – the only company that has been able to export high-THC medical cannabis from Uruguay so far.

MJBizDaily did not immediately receive a reply to the queries.

The tightening of Israeli import requirements was reported first by Israel Cannabis Magazine.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at