When it comes to medical cannabis research, no one has Israel beat. Over the decades, the country has proven to be a leader in formally documenting the usefulness of the plant, and had a generally more open attitude to use by its country’s military and citizens.

Recently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a move to freeze political reforms aimed at allowing cannabis exportations from Israel. Reportedly, Netanyahu’s decision to ban medical marijuana exports, a potential billion-dollar-plus industry for Israel, was made to appease Donald Trump.

Unsurprisingly, the move has come with a lot of frustration, anger, and pushback, particularly from Israel’s eight licensed producers of cannabis, as well as other companies looking to get into the sector. Two of those later companies, Medivie and Together, say that in the face of large set-up costs for production, they are looking to alternate markets to set up operations.

From Haaretz.com:

“Israeli cannabis has already won accolades for its high quality, said Nissim Bracha, the incoming CEO of Together, one of two marijuana companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. ‘Globally there’s huge demand for Israeli medical cannabis,’ he said. ‘The subject still isn’t taken seriously as it should be because of the negative connotations it still carries.’

“Both companies found their way to the TASE by buying shell companies and then enjoying as sudden surge in their stock prices.

“…Netanyahu’s decision freezing export licenses caused Together shares to plunge 28% and Medivie’s 10%. In response, Together said it was weighing a plan to grow marijuana in Germany and Medivie said much the same on Sunday, which resulted in a small bounce higher for the shares. On Monday, Medivie ended down 2.1% at 18.04 shekels and Together fell 0.3% to 1.83.”

As two companies with strong branding ability and known dabblers in the cannabis market, it is unlikely that these companies will be willing to lose their competitive advantages. The market demand for cannabis is enormous and Germany’s newly regulated system is already proving its value for cannabis business interests in Europe. It is a shame that both Israel and the United States are behind the curve on medical cannabis exportation at this time. While Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu stifle the industry, other countries like Canada and Germany are poised to gain from the new jobs, revenue, and scientific advancements from the burgeoning medical marijuana market.

Stay informed of the latest cannabis market changes and trends in Germany and all of Europe. Buy your tickets today for the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, Germany, on April 11-13, 2018!