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Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Israel Pushes Forward

Marijuana Legalization in Israel

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.

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Welcome Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota & Mississippi

States with Legal Weed

States with Legal Weed

We are thrilled to welcome you to the recreational cannabis club.  It’s not easy getting into this club, but you guys did it. A special welcome to Mississippi as well for getting medical cannabis legislation passed in your state.  You can all now proudly say your are now one of the growing number of states with legal weed. Depending on your state’s certification process and the timeline for passing cannabis decriminalization legislation, the road to the day when dispensaries open in each state differs considerable from the first of 2021 all the way until January of 2022.  It seems like a long time for some states, especially Montana but it will pass quicker than you think and before you know it dispensaries will be popping up in your city or town.  No doubt cultivation licenses as well dispensary licenses and permits have been applied for or soon will be in all four recreational states.  Once dispensaries start to open there will be a period of time when the industry in your area experiences some growing pains.  It’s normal and will settle down usually within six months but there are certain things you can expect to encounter.

Limitation on Cannabis

Each state has their own laws regarding how much cannabis an individual can purchase within a 24 hour period.  Your state’s laws may be slightly different but generally speaking you can purchase up to one ounce of flower, 7 grams of concentrates, 18 ounces of edibles or 72 ounces of liquids.  As many people purchase multiple types of cannabis in one dispensary trip, it is up to the dispensary to make sure you don’t exceed the legal limits.  So expect a little confusion about how this all works but remember you can’t go from one dispensary to another and buy up to the limit in one or more types of cannabis because when you show your ID to get in the door, your purchase will be tracked and most dispensaries require you to show your ID a second time as you are making your purchase.  So no gaming the system please.  Also prepare for there to be cannabis shortages and additional limits placed on the amount of cannabis you can buy in the first few weeks or months of dispensaries opening their doors.  This seems to happen in all states with legal weed so you would think the industry would be prepared for the demand, they never seem to be but fear not as this problem is always short-lived.

Give Your Budtenders a Break

The requirements for budtenders are different depending on the state but all budtenders are required to know or learn about not just the different strains of cannabis and various cannabis delivery methods but the entire cannabis industry as well as have good sales and people skills.  For cannabis consumers, a job as a budtender may seem like a dream come true but it’s not as easy as you might imagine to be a great budtender.  When dispensaries begin to open in the newly legal states, don’t expect your budtenders to know everything on day one.  It takes time, and even additional training for budtenders to grow into their roles and shine.  If you have specific knowledge about a product and feel like sharing it with your budtender, they usually appreciate this, especially when things are still so new.  Anecdotal information is normally welcome by most budtenders.  Above all, be nice and patient, they are new at their jobs and the learning curve can be steep.

Prepare to Wait

Once the dispensaries open, unless there has been some citywide coordination there will be one dispensary that opens first, and then week by week others will open.  Imagine being the only dispensary open in a city that has been waiting years, well decades really, for cannabis to become legally available.  To say it will be crowded is a vast understatement.  Expect long lines at those first few recreational marijuana dispensaries for a few weeks. Be super chill and patient because if the security personnel sense any trouble you will likely be asked to leave.  No weed for you which would be tragic after such a long wait. The other issue that will increase wait times is that dispensaries will be practicing social distancing so that will drastically limit the number of people allowed into a dispensary at a time.  Dispensaries don’t like to rush their customers so they allow plenty of time for questions and menu browsing, which adds additional wait time for others.  Of course it’s all worth it when it’s your turn and hopefully you made good use of the wait time by checking out the dispensary’s online menu so you have a general idea of what you want to buy or at least what questions to ask.  It’s all part of the dispensary experience in states with legal weed, coming to your state soon!