Lebanon weighs medical cannabis laws as Israel drags feet

Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash

While cannabis companies in Israel await export approval, neighboring Lebanon is reportedly considering turning to MMJ to improve its economy.

Global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. recommended legalizing medical cannabis to Lebanon’s cabinet earlier this month, among other proposals.

The move could add up to $1 billion to the country’s economy, Economy and Trade Minister Raed Khoury told Bloomberg.

Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri said Parliament will review any legislation brought forward to legalize and regulate medical cannabis, according to the New Arab news outlet.

In neighboring Israel, meanwhile, the medical marijuana industry continues to be hampered by bureaucratic red tape and a failure to pass regulations to allow Israeli growers to export cannabis products.

The monthslong delay has prompted Israel-based Together Pharma to move some of its greenhouse operations to the European Union.

“We are at a critical point in time, making a decision prohibiting the export of medical cannabis, and even failing to make any decision on the subject, would seriously harm the breakthrough that the reform might have caused,” said Uri Ben-Or, an Israel-based CFO who represents multiple cannabis companies traded on the country’s stock market.

“We believe that decisionmakers in this field must turn Israel into a global medical cannabis exporter, both for medicine and research and for the Israeli economy.”

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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