(April 3, 2019 / JNS) New Israeli laws regarding the use of marijuana have begun to take effect this week, with possession of plants and dried products significantly decriminalized.
Under new laws that are already partially in effect, the possession of a marijuana plant in the home setting is not punishable by law. People (excluding minors and soldiers) found to be carrying small amounts of cannabis in public without medical authorization will now be fined and not subject to criminal proceedings.
According to Israel’s Ministry of Health, at least 565 farms have submitted requests for licenses to grow medical cannabis in anticipation of new guidelines that will enable more Israeli patients to purchase marijuana at pharmacies with a physician’s prescription.
The new laws were delayed past the initial role out on April 1, but are expected to go into effect soon.
To date, some 384 farms have advanced past the initial stage of the licensing process, which included background checks and land ownership verification, according to a representative at the Ministry of Health quoted by The Jerusalem Post.
The approved farms will have to uphold strict quality control and security standards in order to become legal marijuana growers.
So far, eight farms have completed the licensing process, with another six in final stages. Their products will be made available to Parkinson’s epilepsy, cancer and terminally ill patients, in addition to others.