Israel: Health Ministry To Expand Medical Marijuana Regulations

Tel Aviv, Israel: Israel’s Ministry of Health has been instructed by lawmakers to expand regulations governing the production and use of medicinal cannabis by authorized patients, according to a news story published last week in The Jerusalem Post.

Under present Israeli policy, “Patients suffering from severe pain from cancer, multiple sclerosis or certain other conditions can apply for a license (from the Ministry of Health) to obtain free a supply of pure marijuana strains for smoking to relieve their pain,” the Post reported.

An estimated 700 patients in Israel are licensed to use medical cannabis, which is supplied by a single private company “on a non-profit charitable basis.” The government’s pending regulations are expected to expand the number of authorized marijuana producers to five or six.

Earlier this year, the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer became the first Israeli hospital to allow authorized patients to medicate with cannabis on their premises.

The Israeli government initially approved the limited legalization of medicinal cannabis in 1999.

Federal authorities in Canada and the Netherlands have also enacted regulations authorizing for the production and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Deputy Director, at (202) 483-5500.