minister of agriculture and rural development, oded forer: “the export of cannabis seeds is an opportunity to further diversify israel’s agricultural exports, strengthening domestic agriculture while taking advantage of israel’s relative advantage in this field, which is still regarded to be in its rudimentary phase. this being the case, israel has the ability to make its mark and position itself among the world leaders. we must support the israeli companies as they take their first steps in the global market”
after almost a year of negotiations, the first-ever shipment of cannabis seeds left israel to a foreign country. this is an initial, experimental shipment, following which negotiations will take place to continue the exports. this is an historic step, part of the implementation of government decision 4490, which was updated last august to include the export of medical cannabis seeds from israel. this can potentially lead to opening other international markets to israeli exports and give the israeli medical cannabis industry a substantial shot in the arm.
israel is considered to be a world expert in research and development of the cannabis plant. in fact, contrary to public perceptions, cannabis research has been ongoing in israel for decades now, although only in recent years has it been gaining momentum thanks to changes in israeli policy.
this historic shipment will see hemp-cannabis seeds being sent overseas, product of the israeli betterseeds company. the hemp seeds currently being shipped are part of the company’s cultivation program, under a research license from the medical cannabis unit in the ministry of health. upon arrival, the seeds are going to be inspected by commercial hemp growers to verify their suitability for the american market. the planting and propagation material department in the plant protection and inspection services of the ministry of agriculture and rural development, together with the medical cannabis unit in the ministry of health and other bodies are supporting all israeli companies in advancing the exportation of seeds, and now for the first time, these efforts are bearing fruit.
the opening of seed exports in the cannabis segment is expected to bolster israel’s status as holder of knowledge and expertise in the seeds sector. furthermore, diversification of exports and its extension into cannabis products is going to enable deepening of existing markets and penetration into new markets while riding the mounting surge in demand for cannabis products of medicinal-health properties. besides that, israel is one of the leading countries in the research and development of seeds in general and of medicinal cannabis in particular, and the export of cannabis seeds is expected to arouse interest from various researchers around the world and further strengthen research in israel.
naama kaufmann-fass, director general of the ministry of agriculture and rural development: “as part of my work, with cooperation from the minister of agriculture and rural development, mr. oded forer, we are going to penetrate more and more markets. reality compels us to strengthen our trading ties with other countries – for example by opening agricultural attaché offices in other countries, and also in the form of the current export of cannabis seeds. we hope this shipment will bring with it further commercial successes”.