Israel Health Minister issues sweeping new cannabis reforms

Israeli media is reporting that new reforms will lower the price of medical cannabis and removes CBD from a list of banned substances

Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday issued new regulations aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by an estimated 50 percent while making it easier for doctors to issue prescriptions for patients. 

The most important reform concerns products made from cannabidiol, or CBD, with the ministry removing the chemical from its list of dangerous substances where it has appeared since 1973.

The move, experts say, could lead to a significant reduction in the cost of CBD products and make it available for public consumption.

In turn, this change in legislation will also allow the emergence of a new market with enormous economic potential, as is the case today in many European countries and states in the US.

Finally, the reform marks the end of the long bureaucratic process that patients had to endure until now to obtain the authorization to consume these products.

“Today we are lifting the stifling constraints that surround the use of medical cannabis,” Edelstein said in a statement.

When announcing his intention to enact the reforms earlier this month, Edelstein said he had personally witnessed the relief provided by cannabis when his wife was being treated for terminal cancer.

“When my late wife, Tanya, was in her final months and the pain was hardly bearable, the doctor suggested she use cannabis. I witnessed how it helped her. I don’t know if it had harmful effects on her body, but concerning the pain, it definitely helped her.”

Israel currently allows medical use of cannabis, yet recreational use remains illegal.

Last month, however, Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation passed two decriminalization bills, potentially opening the path for the full legalization of cannabis.

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