Israel’s first commercial medical cannabis export lands in Australia

November 18, 2020 |Jpost

Panaxia, in cooperation with Seach Medical Group, two of Israel’s largest manufacturers of medical cannabis products, announced that the country’s first commercial export of medical cannabis flowers and products landed in Australia on Thursday, after the company received its export license on Sunday.Panaxia, which in June was approved for an EU-GMP standard license for the production and export of medical cannabis in European and international markets, and Seach Medical group, which grows cannabis flowers with a European standard license, were already prepared for the first shipment of medical cannabis flowers.

The shipment was sent out from Panaxia’s factory in Lod through Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, immediately following the approval from Israel’s Health Ministry, which was given to the company on condition that it first ensure it has a steady enough supply of cannabis products to provide for Israeli patients, at an affordable price.Though the government first approved the export of medical cannabis for research purposes by BOL Pharma, in January 2019, it was only a year later that the first shipment of medical cannabis products was sent out overseas.Apart from that shipment however, the export market has been otherwise completely frozen since the announcement, after a botched reform in the medical cannabis market saw Israeli patients complain of a sharp rise in prices, a relative decrease in product quality and massive shortages.To combat the negative effects of the reform – which was led in 2017 by former health minister Ya’acov Litzman – Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, along with Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch, began a pilot program last month which mandated that Israel’s cannabis companies begin offering lower prices and steady supplies before they can receive approval to export their products overseas, to a market that has been estimated to net Israel between NIS 1 billion and NIS 4b.So far, the pilot program has seen mixed success, with some companies lowering prices for only certain strains, and most struggling to meet their supply standards, with Panaxia being the only company to be approved for export so far.

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