An interesting CNBC article explores the medical marijuana industry in Israel. Medical marijuana is legal in Israel. According to CNBC, not only is it a $40 million industry in Israel, but Israeli research in the field has fueled the U.S. medical marijuana business, which will be worth an estimated $2 billion by the end of 2014.
Furthermore, Israel's largest cannabis supplier is a company founded in 2006 called Tikun Olam. The company seeks to provide patients with free marijuana for medical use and has had a license from the Israeli government to grow the plant since 2007. The goal is to provide medial marijuana for everyone who needs it, not only in Israel, but also in Palestinian Authority-controlled territory.
Tikun Olam has about 4,000 patients and 60 employees. Most patients pay the company $100 a month for the medical cannabis and $40 for a tutorial showing how to properly use the drug. For children with cancer, the drug is provided for free.
Other countries are expressing growing interest in Israel's medical marijuana market. Czech Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek visited a grower in Israel last month to discuss the possibility of exporting the drug to the Czech Republic. Tikun Olam is collaborating with Canadian Company MedReleaf, and former New York Deputy Comptroller for Budget and Public Affairs Ari Hoffnung visited Tikun Olam in Israel a few months ago to see if it would be possible to replicate the model in New York.