The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange launched on Monday a new index for nine medical cannabis companies in an effort to boost trade in the burgeoning, yet not quite mature, sector.
Israel is a leader in marijuana research and this year the government approved exports of medical cannabis, paving the way for sales abroad expected to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
The new index includes nine companies that are "primarily engaged in the fields of research, cultivation, sale or production and marketing of medical cannabis products", the stock exchange said.
Though the index has a relatively low market cap of NIS1.7 billion ($529 million), the bourse said it launched the index to indicate trends and as a "benchmark for active mutual funds that offer exposure to this emerging and growing sector".
One high-profile player in the field of cannabis legislation in Israel is Hagit Weinstock, an attorney specializing in cannabis regulation who co-founded the Tel Aviv-based Weinstock-Zehavi & Co. law firm, and a member on a number of government committees that are working to advance legalization efforts.
“Based on the committees that I’m part of, everyone is pushing [for legalization] to be passed,” Weinstock said. “We already have a draft [bill].”
According to Weinstock, her firm is already working with dozens of Israeli and international companies and investors in the growing marijuana sector.
"They’ve all signed a declaration that this will be an issue they are going to support, so we don’t face dangers regardless of which government is in power," added Weinstock.
The Knesset Health Committee is set to discuss and approve the amendment this week, which means that CBD-infused products could soon appear on supermarket shelves across the country.