Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Israel News

Start-Up Nation Poised To Corner the Global Medical Marijuana Market

Medical marijuana is on track to become a booming industry in Israel, with 36 Israeli companies now doing clinical research on cannabis, according to a report in the Economist.

That figure comes from Saul Kaye, the CEO of the venture fund and technology incubator iCAN.

Israel’s health ministry is licensing a list of about 100 doctors to prescribe the drug, and regular pharmacists will be able to stock it.

What’s more, in August, the agriculture minister announced that local growers will soon be allowed to export their crop.

There’s a reason why medical marijuana research is blossoming in Israel, even though the country’s right wing government is against legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

Israel’s strong agricultural and medical sectors, combined with its reputation as “startup nation” have primed it for developing marijuana for medical use.

What’s more, wrote the Economist, it has a 60-year head start on the United States where marijuana research is just beginning.

While the United States is just beginning to review laws that hamper research with an eye to possibly changing them, Israeli scientists have been looking into the topic for decades. Raphael Mechoulam, considered the father of cannabis research, is an Israeli professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Israel researchers are looking into uses of medical marijuana for a range of conditions beyond pain relief, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

Dive In




    NY-12 Candidate Forum


    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.