Israel releases transitional guidelines for medical cannabis exports

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Israel releases transitional guidelines for medical cannabis exports

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Transitional guidelines for medical cannabis exports have been released by Israel’s Medical Cannabis Agency (IMCA). The guidelines would permit exports on a case-by-case basis; contingent on local suppliers having ample supply to meet the growing demand for cannabis medicines in Israel.

Thanks to the new rules for medical cannabis exports in Israel, companies that are licensed to conduct business operations in the legal market will have more avenues in which they can sell their products.

A letter was sent to the agency outlining Israel’s transitional guidelines for medical cannabis exports. It stated how the rules will be enacted for a minimum of six months. Exports won’t be permitted if supply doesn’t meet demand.

“[The guidelines] are only for a limited transitional period … which ends on 18 May 2020,” reads an excerpt from the letter.

Following the initial six months, the potential for an extension will be reviewed by the Health Ministry. Officials will decide whether the rules are eliminated for good or enacted permanently.

An overview of guidelines for medical cannabis exports in Israel

Numerous rules have been laid out by the IMCA, including the quantity of cannabis that can be cultivated within the validation period time frame, laboratory testing studies for the cultivation and production process, as well as information pertaining to post-harvest processing that does not take place on a farm site. With the rules in mind, exporters can determine what suffices as an approved batch for export.

Israel’s transitional guidelines will clear the smoke clouds for both producers and consumers of medical cannabis in Israel, what with a big portion of the country’s 46,000 registered patients having dealt with problems pertaining to the quality and consistency of their plant-based medicines. Clarification from the IMCA means that patients stand to receive medicine that meets higher quality control standards.

One of the Agency’s alternative motives for releasing these guidelines was to dampen rumors that have surfaced about the possibility of exports intensifying supply problems. The ministry has affirmed that it will only be giving shipments the go-ahead if supply for patients is guaranteed.

“When the Ministry of Health comes to approve specific batches for exportation, it shall take into account considerations of supply, variety, price and local availability,” reads an excerpt from Israel’s transitional guidelines for medical cannabis exports.

Cannabis that is produced in Israel can be legally sold abroad by companies that operate in accordance with local production standards. This is according to the Health Ministry, which says that anyone who is not compliant with Israel’s medical cannabis export rules will be forced to give up their license.

Overview of testing guidelines for medical cannabis exports in Israel

Testing is one of the main issues focused on in the guidelines. Testing will be necessary during the transition phase; as a means of ensuring cultivated plants and processed cannabis products are safe for patient consumption. Israel’s rules for medical cannabis exports state that farmers must obtain a testing certificate to conduct cultivation practices in accordance with Israeli Medical Cannabis Good Agricultural Practices (IMC-GAP).

Once farmers are in possession of an IMC-GAP certificate, tests will commence at a time of the business owner’s choice. Laboratory tests must be carried out once the production process comes to an end. Numerous factors will influence the suitability of a batch for use in Israel’s medical cannabis market, including cannabinoid concentration, quantity, and the presence of any active/foreign substances, toxins, heavy metals, microbial entities and pesticides.

“A batch which has not successfully passed the said release tests, and accordingly for which it cannot be proven that the products to be made complying with all of the quality requirements, may not be distributed,” the letter continued.

A total of 180 pounds can be cultivated for validation by medical cannabis growers in Israel. Additionally, crops grown for testing must be separated from full crops. Visit the IMCA website to read more about Israel’s testing guidelines for medical cannabis.