A crucial first step in a long-term project
Israel has been preparing and organising this initial and experimental shipment for a year. The shipment contained seeds from BetterSeeds, a local company with a research licence from the Ministry of Health. Each product will be carefully examined on arrival to ensure that it is suitable for the US market.
According to Oded Forer, the Minister of Agriculture, "Israel has the capacity to make its mark on the industry and to be among the world leaders. He added: "The export of cannabis seeds invites us to expand the diversity of Israeli agricultural exports and strengthens local agriculture." Indeed, he sees it as a good way to exploit the country's comparative advantage in an area that is still in the early stages of expansion.
Israel, future leader in medical cannabis?
Israel has been taking steps to prepare for these exports for some time. Indeed, the government has had its medical cannabis shipping regulations amended to make the export of cannabis seeds possible in August 2021. Intense lobbying from the industry is said to have prompted this change.
Therefore, if this first international shipment is successful, it is intended to lead to contacts for further exports. Ultimately, this could have the positive consequence of opening up new international markets for Israeli exports, which would greatly enhance the progress of the medical cannabis industry in the country.
Mr Forer explains that their long-term vision is to be able to expand the range of exports to include all cannabis products, to deepen existing markets and to be able to unlock new ones. They need to take advantage of the rising tide of demand for these types of products with medical value.