The organizers of a major cannabis summit scheduled to take place in Israel later this month have decided to postpone the event over coronavirus fears.
CannaTech was set to attract hundreds of cannabis industry insiders to the Tel Aviv Hilton from March 30-31. The popular summit is now in its fifth year. The organizers are also branching out into psychedelics by launching PsyTech Summit this year.
Both events have now been pushed back to June, but they may have to be called off if the coronavirus is not contained.
Initial reports of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, first emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has now spread to every continent apart from Antarctica. The number of cases worldwide has topped 94,000 and there have been at least 3,220 deaths as a result.
Outside of China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have emerged as major clusters for the COVID-19 outbreak. It has now spread across the Middle East. Israel has 15 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus – some from visiting Italy, and others from the Diamond Princess cruise ship – and thousands of high school students are quarantined after a classmate tested positive.
Anyone who has visited Germany, France, Spain, Austria, or Switzerland over the past two weeks has been instructed to quarantine themselves at home. The authorities have banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people.
Based on the recommendations of the Israeli Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit are postponed to June 15-16 and June 14-15, respectively.
“Our number one concern is the health and safety of our attendees and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and our vendors,” said organizer Saul Kaye, chief executive of iCAN.
Israel is hoping to give its economy a boost by becoming a major player in medical marijuana export markets, but the coronavirus outbreak will disrupt those plans. Political chaos also reigns, as an unprecedented third general election yielded yet another inconclusive result this week.
Neither incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his leading rival, Benny Gantz, won the requisite support to command a clear parliamentary majority. Netanyahu promised to explore recreational cannabis legalization before the election.
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