First-ever export of Israeli medical cannabis seeds heads to US
Agriculture Ministry hails development as a major step toward country becoming a significant player in the global cannabis market
The first-ever export shipment of Israeli cannabis seeds has left for the US, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, hailing the move as a major step toward becoming a global pioneer in the field.
Efforts to arrange the “experimental and initial” shipment, which departed on Tuesday night, have been ongoing for the past year.
The cargo contained seeds from the local BetterSeeds company, which has a research license from the Health Ministry.
They will be examined on arrival “to verify their suitability for the US market,” the ministry said.
“Israel has the ability to make its mark [on the industry] and be among the world’s leaders,” Agriculture Minister Oded Forer said in the statement.
“The export of cannabis seeds invites us to expand the diversity of Israeli agricultural exports and strengthens local agriculture,” Forer said. It also “exploits Israel’s relative advantage in an area that is still considered preliminary.”
If all goes well, “contacts will be held regarding the continuation of the export,” the ministry said. It “could lead to the opening of additional international markets for Israeli exports and significantly advance the medical cannabis industry in Israel.
“Increasing the range of exports and expanding it to cannabis products will enable the deepening of existing markets and penetration into new markets while riding on the growing wave of demand for cannabis products with medical-health value,” it added.
Last August the government amended its medical cannabis export rules to allow for the export of cannabis seeds. The change came after intensive pressure from companies in the cannabis industry.
A woman works in a lab at a high-tech cannabis products start-up at a technological incubator center in the town of Yeruham in the southern Negev desert on February 1, 2022. (MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)we
Touting Israel as a global expert in the research and development of the cannabis plant, the ministry noted that “contrary to popular belief, the cannabis industry in Israel has been active in the field of research for decades, but only in recent years has it gained momentum due to changes in Israeli policy.”
Israel’s medicinal cannabis market was valued at around $264 million in 2021, roughly $7 million less than the entirety of Europe’s, according to Prohibition Partners, an industry analysis firm.
However, Israel maintains tight restrictions on exports — particularly to major markets in Europe and North America. Israel exported a comparatively meager 663 kilograms (1,462 pounds) of cannabis last year, according to the Health Ministry.
Some lawmakers, such as New Hope MK Sharren Haskel, are working to pass legislation that will continue to loosen regulations they say would benefit both businesses and consumers.
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Colombia To Export Cannabis Seeds (100K Of Them) To The US For The First Time Ever
On Thursday, a Colombian-Canadian company announced that it will be the first to export cannabis seeds from Colombia to the United States. The feat corresponds to Avicanna Inc AVCN AVCNF and arises from the need for countries producing legal cannabis to have hemp seeds in the middle of the winter cycle.
Through its subsidiary in Colombia, Santa Marta Golden Hemp, Avicanna will export a batch of 100,000 seeds to Denver, Colorado. Management says this will be the first of several export batches.
The seeds were produced in the township of Bonda, Magdalena, a small rural areas in the Colombian Caribbean region. The process promoted the development of the area, employing more than 60 local people over a six-month period.
“This milestone materializes years of work by the Avicanna team in developing the best genetics. We’ve worked in tandem with Colombian authorities to generate the appropriate standards to guarantee traceability,” said Lucas Nosiglia, president for Avicanna LatAm. “This will undoubtedly be a catalyst for the reactivation of the Colombian economy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and paves the way for the leadership position that Colombia will have in coming years in this growing industry.”
The measure had the full support of the ICA and the Colombian Ministries of Agriculture and Justice.
Photo: cannabis seeds on the Santa Marta Golden Hemp site. By Javier Hasse.
More cannabis news in Spanish on El Planteo.
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