Health Minister Yuli Edelstein issued new regulations on Wednesday aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by an estimated 50% while making it easier for doctors to prescribe the plant to patients.
The motion saw the Health Ministry remove the substance cannabidiol, or CBD, from the Dangerous Drug Ordinance for the first time since 1973.
Experts estimate that the move could lead to a significant decline in the prices of CBD products and make them available for the public.
The new legislation will also allow a new market with enormous economic potential to emerge around these products, as is the case in many European countries and several U.S. states.
The reform marks the end of a long and difficult bureaucratic process that patients had to endure to obtain a permit to consume these products.
“Today we are lifting the stifling constraints that surround the use of medical cannabis,” Edelstein said in a statement.
When announcing his intention to enact the reforms earlier this month, Edelstein said he had personally witnessed the relief provided by cannabis when his wife was being treated for terminal cancer.
“When my late wife, Tanya, was in her final months and the pain was unbearable, the doctor suggested she use cannabis. I witnessed how it helped her. I don't know if it had harmful effects on her body, but concerning the pain, it definitely helped her."
Israel currently allows medical use of cannabis, yet recreational use remains illegal.
Last month, however, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation passed two decriminalization bills, potentially opening the path for full legalization of cannabis.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.