Israeli Health Ministry to grow medical marijuana

Posted on July 31st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Middle EastDr. Ronni Gamzi, director-general of the Israeli Health Ministry, announced last week that the ministry will establish a unit to produce and oversee the supply of medicinal cannabis. The unit will begin operating in January 2012, to meet an anticipated exploding demand without resorting to imports.

Until now, the use of medical marijuana has been authorized for individual patients by Dr. Yehuda Baruch, a psychiatrist at the government’s Abarbanel State Mental Health Center in Bat Yam. Currently, medical cannabis is supplied exclusively by local growers to some 6,000 patients authorized by Dr. Baruch, but the number is expected to reach 40,000 in 2016.

Members of the Israel Pharmacists Association have been pressing for permission to distribute cannabis to authorized patients through their pharmacies. Although the Israeli police have urged that supplies be imported rather than locally grown on the logic that customs agents could minimize their reaching illicit users, the Health Ministry has ruled out allowing imports. (Jerusalem Post, July 29)


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