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A government panel in Israel recommended yesterday that the country export its medical cannabis to the legalized world.

A joint committee of the Health and Finance ministries recommended allowing exportation based on estimates that doing so could earn Israel as much as $4 billion a year in revenue.

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman was originally against the idea of exportation because he felt that it would encourage the recreational use of cannabis in Israel. However, Litzman changed his opinion, adding that the revenue would be earmarked for improving Israel’s healthcare system.

The recommendation was put forth with the stipulation that exports would be handled by the Health Ministry or licensed producers of cannabis in Israel under government supervision. Exports would only be approved to countries that have legalized medical cannabis. All forms of medical marijuana would be eligible for export including flower, processed tablets, and oils.

Cannabis cultivators in Israel have been lobbying for international export rights for years, suggesting that it would be a growth engine for the country.

The government panel also recommended forming a team of government officials to brand and market Israel’s marijuana products internationally.

Home to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the godfather of THC, Israel is one of the leading cannabis-research nations in the world with groundbreaking studies into the medicinal uses of cannabis.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett