A Knesset ministerial committee is reportedly set to recommend the full legalization of cannabis in a report due to be published this week, following a review of the country's current cannabis laws.
Israel Police, Public Security Ministry, and Health Ministry representatives have reportedly signed off the recommendation following deliberations in an inter-ministerial committee tasked with reviewing the expected cannabis legislation.
The use of recreational cannabis in Israel is still considered illegal, but the Public Security Ministry partially decriminalized the drug in 2017 and has continued to support easing of restrictions.
In August, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein issued new regulations aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by an estimated 50 percent while making it easier for doctors to issue prescriptions for patients.
The most important reform concerns products made from cannabidiol, or CBD, as the ministry removed the chemical from its list of dangerous substances where it has appeared since 1973.
If recreational cannabis is legalized, experts say, the Jewish state could become a major exporter of the crop, raking in billions of dollars from international and domestic markets.
Cannabis will then be legally sold to members of the Israeli public over the age of 21 in authorized shops. Growing the crop, however, will likely remain illegal.
An outline of the bill in the inter-ministerial committee shows that some 27 percent of Israeli adults currently use cannabis in its various forms.
Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have signaled their support of the initiative, saying in a joint statement released earlier this year that the law should outline "a responsible model that will be suited to the State of Israel and the Israeli population.”
Article reprinted with permission from i24NEWS