Regulatory conditions have  sown the seeds for a cannabis regulatory and business culture, as  the Ministry of Health is the only national FDA equivalent body that has publicly declared and accepted the benefits of cannabis.

 Israel has now approved a vast number of medical conditions for treatment with cannabis, including cancer, epilepsy, neurological conditions and MS.

We thought some details about the unit and how it operates may be useful for other regulatory bodies and health depts

Here’s their basic info and contact details


Address:39 Yirmiyahu St.
P.O.Box 1176
Jerusalem 9101002
​Accessible to people with physical challenges

Principles of Operation
The Medical Cannabis Unit operates according to the following principles:
  • Cannabis should be considered, so far as possible, in the same manner as any other medicinal product, requiring supervision and regulation in order to protect public health and welfare, even when taking into account its special characteristics – being a plant rather than a product manufactured in a laboratory or factory.
  • In view of the fact that cannabis is classified as a dangerous drug, an arrangement regarding the use of medical cannabis in Israel must approximate as closely as possible the arrangements regulating the use of narcotic medicines.
  • The Ministry of Health’s commitment to all that pertains to the supply of cannabis is no different – neither greater nor less – from its commitment regarding any other medicinal product that is not essential in emergencies and is not included in the health basket.
  • The Ministry of Health wishes to remove obstacles to the supply of this drug to patients who could benefit from it medically and who wish to purchase it at their own expense.
  • The State is responsible for and committed to protecting public welfare and health, and is tasked with preventing deleterious use and criminality associated with dangerous drugs, including cannabis.
  • It is the State’s obligation to supervise the cannabis market through the various governmental organizations (Health, Police, Customs, Agriculture), to grant permits when needed and to take all actions needed to protect public welfare and health, or to prevent deleterious use and criminality associated with the drug.
The Unit operates vis-à-vis the following parties:
  • Persons being treated or applying to be treated with cannabis
  • Recommending physicians
  • “Administrators” – Physicians qualified to approve recommendations for the use of cannabis
  • Cannabis growers, authorized laboratories, companies that transport and produce cannabis
  • Pharmacies that dispense cannabis
  • Cannabis suppliers
  • Government ministries and bodies: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, the Israel Tax Authority- Customs, Israel Police, the Israel Anti-Drug Authority
  • Counterpart government agencies in countries that are signatories to the Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961
  • Professional consultants
  • Organizations and associations: the Israeli Medical Association, the Pharmacists’ Association, professional medical associations (in fields relevant for indications), public associations, and more
Committees that operate in the Medical Cannabis Unit, and their objectives:
  • Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee: For monitoring and coordinating the subject, constituting a “Board of Directors” for recommending operating strategies. The Committee includes representatives of the following ministries and bodies: the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Agriculture, Israel Police, the Israel Tax Authority- Customs, the Israel Anti-Drug Authority.
  • Indications Committee: Broadening/narrowing the range of indications, clinical recommendations, consideration of ethical and pharmaco-legal rules.
  • Appeals / Exceptions Committee: Urgent treatment, compassionate use, appeals against decisions.
  • Growing Committee: Issues of growing, distinction between varieties, quality, pests.
  • Security Committee: Security standards for growing, for growers/workers, transportation, production, supply, registration.
  • R&D Committee: (Medicine, academia, agriculture) Advancement of research, assessment of professional standards, international conference.