Israel’s medical cannabis program recently went through a number of reforms that will see patients purchasing medical cannabis for up to 50% off the current price. The changes were presented by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein in the Knesset’s Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee. The reforms include switching from a license system to a prescription system, demanding a special budget basket from the Ministry of Finance, directing marketing and sale outside of pharmacies, the removal of cannabidiol (“CBD”) from the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, transparency of products components for patients, and more.
According to Edelstein, he was exposed to the increasingly popular medical cannabis twice before assuming his current position as Health Minister. “It wasn’t until I entered the Ministry of Health that I had two opportunities to be exposed to the subject. The first one was 10 years ago,” he says. “When I was minister of Information and the Diaspora, I was offered to take foreign journalists to a place that produces and grows medicines. It was a great success.”
The second instance was much sadder. When my late wife, Tanya, was in her last months and the pain was severe, the doctor suggested she use marijuana. I am a witness that it helped her,” he says. “I don’t know if there were medical effects or not, but concerning the pain, it definitely helped her.” The Health Minister has since received tons of inquiries about cost from patients.
“When I arrived at the Ministry of Health, I received a lot of inquiries from patients about the prices and the mess. It was clear that professional and fast care needed to be given and that with the COVID-19 crisis I would not be able to reach it alone in the coming year. Therefore I asked Yoav Kish’s deputies to coordinate all treatment of the issue and address the issue as soon as possible with officials from the Ministry of Health and outside the ministry. This is an opportunity to thank the Deputy Minister who devoted his time and effort to this.”
Deputy Health Minister Kish, tasked with finding ways to lower medical marijuana costs, says his first assignment after assuming office is to address medical cannabis reform. “No one can remain indifferent to the harsh reality in which patients live. Unfortunately, the leading issue in public complaints is medical cannabis. We have led a series of steps here that will significantly facilitate the economic aspect. At the same time we are removing the bureaucratic suffering from which patients suffer a great deal.”
This is likely to be seen as great news by sector players like Cannabis Global Inc. (OTC: CBGL) since the best interests of patients has always been at the center of what all cannabis companies do.
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