Marijuana Legalization in Israel
Recreational marijuana legalization in Israel is continuing to move forward. They have developed a road map to legalize possibly within one year. Israel is modeling their plan based on Canada’s legalization model and would push to create a regulated market for recreational marijuana products.
Israeli Cannabis Magazine reported that Avi Nissenkorn, Israel’s justice minister, stated a legal memo should be released by the end of this month. It would then be presented to the Knesset in December for a first vote. If approved, Nissenkorn said the law would go into effect in approximately nine months.
The proposal comes just one week after New Zealand narrowly rejected a movement to set up a billion-dollar market for controlled recreational use marijuana.
in the Times of Israel newspaper, Nissenkorn also stated, “It is time to generate progress and legalize marijuana in Israel. This is a significant, holistic and responsible reform, which suggests that the State of Israel is not ignoring reality and is going in the footsteps of developed nations.”
Israeli Cannabis Magazine reported that Israel’s proposed model is expected to resemble Canada’s. The model will start with a strong emphasis on public health and carving out a large enough playing field for legal companies.
Proponents of the initiative are planning to hold the first of three essential votes in the Knesset in December, ahead of its potential dissolution for a general election. By completing the initial vote, or reading, it would enable parliamentarians to pick up where they left off after the election.
The announcement comes four months after an interministerial committee began meeting to discuss how to govern a possible legal recreational marijuana market.
Significant Tax Revenue Expected
“Research institutes that analyzed the industry discovered that the value of the Israeli illegal marijuana market is over NIS (New Israeli Shekels) 6 billion annually ($1.7 billion), which should bring Israel roughly NIS 2 billion annually from taxes and as much as a billion more from savings in enforcement resources.” A study found that Israel could make 11.3 billion-19.6 billion NIS in tax revenue in the first five years of a legalized and regulated marijuana industry.
Two marijuana related bills are now being combined based on recent studies. Those bills were introduced as private-member proposals earlier in the year but faced little probability of acceptance without being sponsored by the Israeli government. The joint bill is expected to lay the groundwork for anybody in Israel 21 years of age or older to purchase adult-use marijuana products.
There are small differences to Canada’s legalization roadmap. For instance, the bill isn’t anticipated to allow home farming. That component has been demonstrated to be a successful market in Canada.