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February 2, 2015 10:28 am

Israeli Medical Marijuana Available for Locals, But Government Refuses to Allow Exports

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Israel's medical marijuana industry is attracting global attention, but the country's government refuses to allow its export. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Medical marijuana is available in oral doses in Israel but government officials refuse to allow its export amid fear about how the Jewish state will be perceived by the rest of the world, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Michael Dor, the senior medical adviser in the Israeli Health Ministry’s cannabis unit, said agricultural officials support the export of Israeli medical cannabis in ongoing government talks. However, top officials in the police force, army and executive branch oppose it. Aside from the fact that exports face strict international legal requirements, Dor said those officials “don’t want Israel to be seen all over the world as a country that exports weapons and cannabis.”

If Israel does not export, there is a risk that “the knowledge will leak outside Israel, and the knowledge is worth a lot of money,” Dor added. “We would like to stay in the forefront.”

Experts say Israel has become a world leader on the medical uses of marijuana and its producers could become major exporters of medical cannabis, The Washington Post noted.

Medial marijuana in Israel – named “Rafael” after the healing angel Moses called upon in the Bible – is grown in greenhouses in the mountains of the Galilee. The country’s medical cannabis research and development is drawing global interest and already creating partnerships with companies around the world. PhytoTech Medical, an Australian medical cannabis venture, announced a deal on Monday with Yissum, the technology transfer branch of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, to develop dosed pills for the pharmaceutical market.

“Israel is a bastion of cannabis research,” said Colorado doctor Alan Shackelford, who is now the chief science officer for One World Cannabis, publicly traded as OWC Pharmaceuticals. Ethan Nadelmann, of the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington, added, “Israel is truly at the forefront of medical marijuana. Why would Israel want to forgo its leadership?”

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  • PhDScientist

    I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research. The evidence of the value of Marijuana as a life saving medicine is now so strong that the need to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 has become a moral imperative.

    This weekend over 3,000 Americans died, in pain, of Cancer. Today, tomorrow and every day after that, 1,500 more Americans will die, after suffering horribly, from it. Every single minute another American dies of Cancer. Every American Cancer patient deserves the right to have safe, legal, and economical access to Medical Marijuana. Every single one.

    Americans who need Medical Marijuana shouldn’t be used as “Political Footballs” Please call the Whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President take immediate action to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so American Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it. Go to — there are two petitions you can sign electronically there, one to take Marijuana off of Schedule 1, the other to legalize it completely.

    Oncologists have know it for more than a quarter of a Century that Marijuana is a “wonder drug” for helping Cancer patients.

    The American Society of Clinical Oncologists wants Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. So does the American Medical Association, the professional society of all Physicians. A strong majority of Americans want Physicians in all 50 states to be able to prescribe Medical Marijuana. So do their Physicians., Cancer patients can’t wait.

    The need to immediately, completely, legalize Marijuana throughout the world is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time, because of its medical benefits and because of the damage prohibition causes to America and to the world.

    Complete legalization is critical — its vital that there aren’t “strings” or “hoops” that Cancer patients and others who need Medical Marijuana are forced to jump through.

    “Charlottes web” is NOT the solution. Cancer patients and people who suffer from chronic pain need THC, not just CBD. The “Berkeley study”, where 96% of stage 4 Cancer patients who had a wide variety of Cancers achieved remission, used high dose Medical Marijuana oil, 72% THC, 28% CBD, 1 gram/day (oral) over a 90 day course of treatment. It was a small study, and not placebo controlled, but those kinds of results are clearly remarkable, have been widely reported on in the press, and demand the need for immediate large scale clinical trials.

    More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree about the need to end prohibition, and have formed a rapidly expanding group of current and former undercover cops, FBI, DEA, prosecutors and Judges, from all over the world, called

    LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    because they’ve seen the damage prohibition causes to America and the world.


    I’m a Scientist. Not a politician, not a cop.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.

    Medical Marijuana helps with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Cancer, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, and has helped many Americans, including many veterans, stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.

    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.

    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.

    Cancer patients are seeing remarkable results using high dose Medical Marijuana oil, in many cases achieving complete remission, even for stage 4 cancers — there are many excellent articles on the web, and videos on youtube with patient’s personal stories about their experiences with it — and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.

    For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For Cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.

    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safer alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

    • Benjamin Siegel

      Thank you thank you thank you….great comments, and totally true. Coming from a Stage 4 melanoma patient who is using both traditional and non-traditional medicinal approaches to treating one of the most deadly forms of cancer, I can confidently say that without my alternative treatments, namely high-dose cannabis oil, I would be far worse if not dead by now. What is happening? My doctor is seeing one of the best responses to treatment he has seen in his practice…and he is a researcher!

      Anyhow, thanks for your comments…they mean the world.

    • Dave S MD

      Agree completely wth above. However, even as we use MMJ empirically, even as it becomes “completely legal,” much research remains to be done – as to efficacy, drug interactions, public safety, etc. And yet, this is a plant; without government funding, what private or even public drug companies will fund research on something that won’t earn them billions? Synthetic imitations will not do it – there are so many different phytocannabinoids and terpenes, almost impossible to mimic.

      And so, here in Las Vegas, what was a very promising industry to study this wonderful remedy will soon evaporate. The dept of taxation and liquor industry want to control it, and they are interested in only one thing….$$$$$$

      How can we fight this menace and learn how to provide this herbal remedy in the best and safest manner to our patients and citizens?

      Dr. D