Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel announced that his ministry will recognize the medical marijuana industry as an agricultural branch and as a result, the growers will receive government aid and support. The ministry estimates that the medical cannabis market’s exports will bring in between 1 billion to 4 billion NIS annually.

Cannabis plants

Cannabis plants Photo Credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90

Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel announced this morning (Tuesday) about the decision to turn medical marijuana production into an agricultural branch. The decision will allow medical marijuana growers to receive support, grants, water distribution and even training in crop-growing from the Agriculture Ministry.

Estimates from Israeli Agriculture Ministry experts indicate that the medical cannabis market’s scope for export from Israel will bring in between 1 to 4 billion NIS annually. Furthermore, the ministry approximates that the number of medical marijuana growers will only stand between 15-20 growers as a result of each acre’s expected profitability.

Medical marijuana

Medical marijuana Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Alongside the dramatic decision, Ariel directed the head scientist in his ministry and the agricultural research director to continue cooperation in research and agricultural development in order to promote basic and applied research for medical marijuana. The last time a new agricultural branch was announced was 10 years ago with the horse branch.

The Israeli Health Ministry stated that in a majority of countries around the world, cannabis use and the industry are illegal, but it seems that marijuana use for medical purposes is growing in popularity. Published research confirms the plant’s positive effects on the one hand and on the other, indicate its damage.