An inter-ministerial disagreement on the question of controlling the price of medical cannabis is the new barrier in the continuous saga of Israel’s medical cannabis export.
The Israeli Ministry of Finance has spearheaded the export process, expected to net Israel between $70 million and $1 billion a year according to different estimates. The export reform, in the works since 2016, was approved by the government in January after stringent opposition from the Israeli Ministry of Public Security. Export is set to start in September, but the Israeli Ministry of Health recently placed its own hurdle by demanding more funding and positions.
At the same time, the health ministry started working on a process intended to cap medical cannabis prices in Israel. Medical cannabis prices in Israel started going up after a reform, passed last year by the ministry, increased the number of medical cannabis sellers but also canceled standardized prices for cannabis products. To counteract the price hike, the health ministry approached the inter-ministerial pricing committee to ask that medical cannabis receive a government-mandated list price, similar to any other drug sold in Israel. In response, the finance ministry demanded data that proves medical cannabis prices require government supervision, a potentially lengthy process.