Israel has big plans for cannabis.
Already a worldwide leader on marijuana-related research—with a government-approved, government-funded national research center under construction, and “millions of shekels” invested into companies working on marijuana products—Israel’s government has allowed medical marijuana as a tonic for intractable illnesses since 1992. Now, as legalization spreads like spider mites across America, Israel believes marijuana can be a money-making export product.
Israelhas plans to begin exporting medical marijuana to other countries within a few years, but in the short term, the country’s cannabis program is a victim of its own success.
As things stand now, Israel is going to run out of weed.
Israel police are warning of impending supply shortages for the country’s thousands of medical marijuana patients within the next few months. As the Jerusalem Post reports, the reason behind the coming dry spell is that there aren’t enough workers to till the soil at the country’s eight marijuana farms.
Sometime this year, Israel plans to lift restrictions to allow an unlimited number of facilities where weed is grown and processed. But for now, there are only eight. Under this limitation, Israel’s eight cannabis producers are trying to add 100 new workers to fulfill demand.
But in order to work in weed in Israel, you need a permit from police, and cops have yet to provide the paperwork.
Israeli police are also responsible for a delay in expanding marijuana access in the country, the Post reports. There are three new patient trials to test whether cannabis can be given to people suffering from maladies like “dementia, migraines and psoriasis.”
While the latter affliction, plenty serious for anyone living through it, would be cause for mockery among America’s weed-haters; compounds in marijuana have shown great promise in aiding ex-athletes and others suffering from brain trauma. But in order to participate in a marijuana study in Israel, each individual patient needs approval from police—and the cops haven’t signed off on that, either.
At least in Israel, this isn’t because police are obstructionist or hostile. (Police are responsible for things coming as far as they have; the scientist who first isolated THC in the early 1960s, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, did so while working with a 10-pound supply of hashish he acquired from the Tel Aviv police.) They just don’t have the people necessary to process the paperwork, they claim.
Sometime this year, Israel Police say they’re going to create a special unit dedicated to approving marijuana patients and workers, solely to speed things along.
Once they do, “we will do everything we can to minimize the waiting time,” police vowed, according to the Post.
In the meantime, Israel’s 25,000 marijuana patients may be well-advised to stock up and sock some weed away for the dry months.