A report released last weekend by the Citizens’ Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI) confirmed what thousands of Israeli medical cannabis patients have known for years, the former health minister’s reform of medical cannabis Ya’acov Litzman was a resounding failure.
The failed export reform became particularly embarrassing in July 2020 when it was announced that Israel had overtaken Germany as the world’s largest importer of medical cannabis.
However, while most of the patient complaints have been linked to reform failures within the State of Israel, the CECI report details how Israel moved from waiting for an international power to bustling medical cannabis export on terms that led Panaxia to become the country’s sole exporter of cannabis, essentially granting the medical cannabis giant an export monopoly.

The report followed the goals set by the government in government resolution 4490, which aimed to regulate and promote Israel’s medical cannabis export industry, which was to add about NIS 4 billion to the state budget and give Israel a rapid advance in the rapid emergence of the international community. Marlet.

The resolution adopted the recommendations of a team that examined the feasibility of exporting medical cannabis and determined that around 7 vital actions are needed to properly execute the government’s decision.

Of the seven achievable goals the government set for itself, the report found that four of the steps (57%) were not implemented at all, two were only partially implemented or attempted without success (29%) and only one (14%) had been fully implemented as planned.

Article 8 of the resolution – training employees to work in the supervision and licensing of medical cannabis – was not attempted, citing a lack of resources allocated to the ministry’s medical cannabis unit of Health.

Section 11 required the Minister of Health to meet with the Minister of Public Safety to discuss the matter once every six months for the next four years. No formal meeting or discussion has taken place in the two years following the adoption of the resolution.

Section 12 required the Minister of Health to provide an update to the government regarding the status of medical cannabis export licenses by July 20, 2019. No update was released, as in At this point, all Israeli medical cannabis companies except Panaxia were still terminated. one year before qualifying for an export license.

Article 13 required that an annual report be filed with the government detailing the enforcement actions that have been taken so far to implement the resolution.

Articles 1 and 10 of the government decree have only been partially implemented.

Section 1 – Medical Cannabis Licensing – has indeed launched a pilot program that allows export if a company meets both IMC-GMP and EU-GMP standards. Since such a regulatory measure is incredibly expensive and can take years of planning, Panaxia was the only company allowed to export from Israel.

Article 10 provided for the creation of an interdepartmental team to examine the many factors required for surveillance and enforcement in the field of medical cannabis. While the team has met twice – most recently in January of this year – no recommendations have come out of it.

Article 9 of the decision was the only step the government had fully completed: the formation of an inter-ministerial team to review the steps necessary for the branding, licensing and promotion of medical cannabis products.

This action was led by the Ministry of the Economy, and the team – which met regularly every 4-5 months and included representatives from several relevant ministries – recommended that the resolution be amended to address some legislative issues. which currently prevent the application of many decisions. .

In the Arrangements Bill recently drafted by the new coalition, a proposal was made to amend government resolution 4490 based on the recommendations of the inter-ministerial team.

In addition, the report also found four major issues that hampered the government’s ability to implement the resolution.

The resolution did not specify the amount of funds and resources needed to carry out the plans detailed in the resolution, or how they would be transferred and distributed.

The coronavirus crisis and the massive change in health priorities have hampered the implementation of the resolution

The lack of a state budget and political unrest made it more difficult for the various ministries concerned to organize and implement the plans of the resolution.

Finally, the report revealed that there were not enough approved and authorized personnel to carry out the plans mentioned in the resolution.