The Israeli government has mapped out ambitious plans to grow the country’s medical cannabis sector in a new white paper aimed at overseas investors.

It is titled “Israel’s Medical Cannabis Innovation” and aims to highlight the opportunity and benefits of investing in its medical marijuana ecosystem. Ziva Eger, chief executive of the Israeli Foreign Investments and Industrial Cooperation Authority, spearheaded the project along with Aviad Tamir, head of life sciences and healthcare at Invest in Israel.

They called the country a global research and development and innovation leader with a long history of pioneering exciting new medical cannabis tech and products. The white paper highlights Israel’s strengths when it comes to academia, research, agri-technology, medicine and pharmacology, along with its pro-cannabis government.

Eger said this is the first time that the Israeli government has emphasized its eagerness to significantly develop the medical cannabis sector. “This is a statement by the State of Israel that it is promoting the sector of cannabis for medical use, just as it has previously promoted the cybersecurity and auto-technology industries,” she added.

More than 30 countries have legalized medical marijuana along with 33 U.S. states, and Israel legalized cannabis exports earlier this year following pressure from producers. In August 2019 it issued seven new medical cannabis cultivation licences in a move that will triple the country’s annual production capacity.

Brlev Agricultural Crops, Elpis Flora, Medical Cannabis Growing, Natali Buskila, Rami Sela, S. Sydan and Shavit Agro were all permitted to commence cultivation, following in the footsteps of high-profile firms like InterCure, Cannbit, and Together.

InterCure hit headlines around the world when it hired former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak as chairman.

Another former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has since become a professional advisor to cannabis firm Univo Pharmaceuticals Ltd after investing it, while many more leading public figures have moved into the industry.

The white paper talks up the size of the global market and Israel’s potential to emerge as a leading light within it. Tamir said that after Canada, Israel is the most advanced country in the world when it comes to regulation and licensing of medical cannabis.

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