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Report: Trump influenced Netanyahu’s decision to block cannabis exportation plan

Despite the support of the health, finance and agriculture ministries, and an estimated annual profit of up to $4 billion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose to block a plan to export medical cannabis over his concern that it would irritate US President Donald Trump, who opposes legalization.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered to withhold a plan to export medical cannabis from Israel so as not to irritate US President Donald Trump, who opposes the legalization of the drug, Israel News Company reported on Wednesday.

Netanyahu’s decision earlier this week went against the position of the health, finance and agriculture ministries. It also appears to contradict Netanyahu’s own deeply-held economic beliefs.

According to the report, Netanyahu told ministers he had had a conversation with Trump, during which the latter reiterated his position against the legalization of cannabis. Netanyahu then reportedly said it would be unwise for Israel to be a pioneer in this field, adding that no country in the world, except Canada, currently exports cannabis.

Even when a Finance Ministry representative argued that Israel can avoid confrontation with the Trump administration by not exporting cannabis to the US, Netanyahu reportedly reiterated that going against Trump would not serve Israel’s interests.

A governmental committee has concluded that exporting medical cannabis would make Israel an annual profit ranging from $1 billion to $4 billion.

Omri Ariel

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Omri Ariel

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