Israel takes lead in medical cannabis research
Researchers, producers, entrepreneurs and the pharmaceutical industry work together to develop the sector
The United States is leading the world in regard to the increasing legalization of medical and recreational cannabis but it is in Israel that much of the research is being done and where many American producers end up heading.
Under government guidelines, the country is developing a medical cannabis industry involving researchers, producers, entrepreneurs and the pharmaceutical industry.
Only in the scientific field, there are several examples of the country’s interest in the sector. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has a multidisciplinary center for cannabis research, Ariel University conducts a course on its medical use and the Volcani Organization for Agricultural Research is building a research institute on the subject.
In fact, Professor Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University is one of the pioneers in research for the last 50 years. He has isolated the active component of the plant, THC, and has inspired generations of researchers in many countries.
There are also specialized investment funds such as iCAN: Israel-Cannabis and annual events with a strong international impact in the sector such as the International Medical Cannabis Conference or CannaTech, a meeting on innovation in this field.
And earlier this year, the Israeli government announced a $ 2.13 million investment in 13 research projects to study, among others, the effect of the plant on the metabolic syndrome, multiple sclerosis, prevention of transplanted organ rejection and inhibiting the development of harmful bacteria.
An ambitious commitment that explains the leading position in research in a country with multiple contradictions. Top rated in science, in March the country decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis, although economic sanctions are maintained (about 255 euros if you get caught smoking in public spaces).