Medical marijuana cultivation now an official farming sector in Israel

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Israel is classifying medical marijuana cultivation in the same farming sector as traditional agriculture.

The Agricultural Ministry’s decision means up to 20 farmers will qualify for government aid in the form of grants, water quotas and training, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The reclassification of Israel’s MMJ farmers follows an August announcement that the nation plans to begin exporting medical cannabisThe Agricultural Ministry hasn’t added a new farming classification since giving the nod to horse ranchers 10 years ago, according to the newspaper.

Israel’s MMJ export trade could be extremely profitable, with the ministry projecting the industry may generate 1 billion shekels to 4 billion shekels ($279 million-$1.1 billion) a year.

Additionally, several Israeli firms are already making inroads in the U.S. market and also forming partnerships in Canada.

In another move, the Agricultural Ministry has allotted 8 million shekels ($2.3 million) for biochemical studies to improve medical marijuana growing practices.