Israel: Health Ministry launches historic reform in medicinal cannabis treatment

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Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and his deputy Yoav Kisch published on Wednesday regulations that will allow for lower prices for medicinal cannabis. The regulations are also expected to simplify the process required to go through for receiving a prescription.

Three weeks ago, the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee raised various issues relating to the medicinal cannabis reform that were brought to light since it came into effect. The committee guaranteed that a row of steps will be taken in order to address said issues.

 

The Health Ministry went to work and on Wednesday morning announced that the required legal corrections that will fix the issues were completed and made public.

One major legal change refers to CBD, the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis which does not have the same psycho-activity traits as THC.

The new regulations exclude for the first time CBD-based products from the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance from 1973, a step that will dramatically reduce prices for patients who consume CBD-based products. This step will also allow for a new market with a huge economic potential, as is popular in many European countries today. 

Technically speaking, transitioning from a license, which was required from patients when CBD products were included in the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, to a prescription, is a huge blessing for patients who won't need to deal with the long bureaucratic process that was previously required for receiving a license.

The step is also expected to make treatment using CBD products more popular, allowing it to reach more patients who haven't found alternative treatments that work.

"We're freeing the suffocating constraints from medicinal cannabis patients," Edelstein said.

"I've seen the importance of the use of medicinal cannabis for easing the endless pain of patients with my own eyes and it's to free the redundant constraints," Edelstein added and thanked his deputy, Kisch, for the extensive staff work that allowed the reform to take place.

Kisch also addressed the reform and thanked Edelstein for the opportunity of being part of the historic reform.  

"I gladly accepted the mission that Minister Edelstein gave me. I promised the patients that we would fix the situation and do so as quickly as possible. This morning we completed the final legal wording that was made public, Kisch said.

"Today we've made significant progress in our mission of relieving the patients who rely on medicinal cannabis," Kisch concluded.

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