“The cannabis industry today is what the cyber industry was ten years ago – Israel needs and can lead this industry, too”– Prof. Itzhak Harpaz, president of Max Stern Yezreel Valley College
Israel’s connection with medical cannabis is long, varied, and rich with potential. Not only is Israel is leading the world in medical marijuana research, but it could also become Israel’s next big growth industry.
Although the country has been a world-leading hub of medical cannabis industry research and development (R&D), it gets little media coverage.
Many medical cannabis users in legal jurisdictions around the world don’t yet realize the debt of gratitude they owe for the work done by doctors, researchers and innovators in the nation of Israel.
Israel has been developing its medical cannabis industry for longer than any other country in the world. In 1963, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, was discovered by the studious, soft-spoken Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam, who emigrated from Bulgaria just after the Holocaust.
While Canada and the United States have maintained arduous restraints on the study of cannabis, Israel has been studying cannabis for decades. It is thanks to Israeli researchers that the plant and its compounds have gained some legitimacy as a viable medicine, but the work has just begun.
There is a global need for more clinical studies that meet the most rigorous standards of scientific research. An estimated 46,000 Israeli patients are signed up to receive medical cannabis, and thousands more are on a waiting list.