Import Cannabis
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How to Import Medical Cannabis to Israel (2023)

The medical cannabis sector in Israel has been rapidly growing in recent years, with the country becoming a hub for innovation in the industry. Now we take a closer look at the current stage of the medical cannabis sector and the opportunities it presents for businesses and patients alike. We provide a step-by-step guide to the import process for medical cannabis products into Israel, including the necessary licenses and regulations that businesses need to be aware of. Let's Go!

Medical Cannabis in Israel

Israel has created a vast ecosystem built on multidisciplinary specialties that surrounds the industry and allows it to innovate, take the lead, and excel in a variety of fields. Major international corporations, funds, and professionals are drawn to the ecosystem’s special qualities, and governments that want to adopt similar policies and foster comparable conditions for their local industries are also interested.

Prof. Raphael Mechoulam’s study, which resulted in the detection of THC and CBD, the identification of cannabis receptors in human tissue. And the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, marked the beginning of Israel’s long history of cannabis research. 

Various organizations, including prestigious universities, private businesses, and even governmental institutes, are undertaking study in the area of medical cannabis in Israel. Teams are examining cannabis impacts.

Studies on cannabis’ impacts on cancer, PTSD, autism, epilepsyCrohn’s disease, and schizophrenia are among the medical aspects. The goal of agricultural research is to create the best cannabis cultivation techniques by enhancing the plant’s characteristics and compatibility. With regard to the total amount of cannabis patents, Israel tops the list globally. The Hebrew University, which is ranked first among institutions globally, registered 33 patents in the area in 2008.

Dr. Hinanit Koltai of the Vulcani Center, who studies the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant, and Dr. Nirit Bernstein, an expert in the physiology of plants, are two prominent experts from Israel. Prof. Dedi Meiri of the Technion runs one of the biggest and most sophisticated cannabis study facilities in the world, specializing in cannabinoid and cancer biology.

tel-aviv cannabis

A hub for clinical trials worldwide

For a number of reasons, Israel is regarded as an appealing location for clinical trials in all medical specialties, including medicinal cannabis. First and foremost, Israel is one of the few nations in the world where clinical trials and study on medical cannabis are permitted and legal. Additionally, compared to the US or Western Europe, Israel has much cheaper clinical trial costs. At the same time, its hospitals are on par with those in other nations in terms of renown and quality.

In Israel, a medical society with extensive expertise and experience treating patients with cannabis has grown. There are now over 120,000 patients being treated with medical cannabis, up from a few instances in the 1990s. This legacy has produced a skilled and informed medical community that is willing to test cannabis and take part in discussions about the development of new products, therapies, and regulatory procedures.

For the medicalization reform to be implemented successfully and for the growth of a medical cannabis ecosystem, the involvement and support of the medicinal and pharmaceutical sectors are essential. There are many benefits to having trained medical professionals engage actively in regulatory committees, business research and development processes.

For instance, the IMCA is run by Mr. Yuval Landschaft, a seasoned chemist. Senior doctors frequently participate in the development of products. 

Government Approach to Cannabis Sector

In order to provide new, secure treatments to more patients and establish a thriving economy around it early on, the Israeli government adopted a proactive strategy by regulating the actors and interactions in the medical cannabis industry. The actions of the Israeli government are innovative in many respects. Israel was the first nation to develop and put into practice the regulatory idea of medicalization, beginning in the early 1990s when it began issuing licenses for the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Additionally, it was the first nation to hold a government conference on medical cannabis. The Israeli government gave its approval to the cannabis that is 100% compliant with IMC-GMP (Israel Medical Cannabis – Good Manufacturing Practice) regulations and is of medical grade is exported.
The resolution’s implementation is presently the subject of administrative preparations. The government hopes to strengthen the Israeli market’s power in this manner. Support a thriving local ecosystem, and give it a competitive edge on the international stage. By keeping regulations current with advances in medicine and agriculture.

The Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency (IMCA - "YAKAR")

The Israeli regulator, IMCA was formed in 2013 in response to the first government resolution to control the cannabis industry, which was passed in 2011. The goal of IMCA is to protect the public’s health, wellbeing, and security while offering patients a reliable source of cannabis for medicinal use. It works in accordance with four policy pillars for this purpose: medicalization of the cannabis plant, cannabis-delivery indications, standardization of cannabis products, and training of doctors in cannabis treatment.

Medicalization aims to determine appropriate use and produce the “Cannacopeia,” an Israeli pharmacopeia for medical cannabis. This is done in order to guarantee the use of goods of the highest medical caliber that are professionally adapted and patient-focused using a clear clinical method. This regulatory idea is exclusive to Israel and distinct from licensing or decriminalization policies implemented by other governments.

The Framework
A license from the IMCA is necessary for anyone growing medicinal cannabis in Israel. In order to give patients a high-quality product and stop the drug from being distributed illegally on the black market, it is important to establish a detailed regulatory structure and standards for each link in the supply chain.

cannabis shop in israel

Israeli Business Ecosystem

The various players involved in the cannabis business face complicated professional, legal, regulatory, and economic issues. In order to handle this complexity and sustain the ecosystem. Canna-Service providers have emerged. Professional services are primarily offered in the fields of legal advice, accounting, security (a well-known Israeli specialty that is required at many points along the path to comply with licenses), and consulting in the areas of agriculture on the Israeli market.

As was already stated, Israel has a lot of experience and expertise in the field of security services. Particularly stringent Israeli weed laws necessitate IMC-GSP compliant security requirements. In addition to the high monetary worth, security is crucial to thwart drug leakage into the illegal trade and deter criminal organizations.

Security Circles Ltd. and Magal Security Systems Ltd., both of which were listed on Nasdaq with a company valuation of $100 million each, are two of the Israeli security firms that are active in the cannabis sector. Security Circles Ltd. stands out among these firms. The business guards Canadian and Israeli sites. Ben Security 1989 Ltd. and Moked Emun Ltd. are additional players in the market.

Israel has a lengthy history of technological leadership and hosts many flourishing start-ups. They depend on a complex network of government, private, and foreign investment funds in addition to Israeli and foreign investment funds. The World Economic Forum’s1 Global Competitiveness Rankings. In which Israel came in second place behind the US in 2018. The OECD R&D Expenditure Index.

Popular Cannabis Strains In Israel

Because in Israel medical cannabis is legal and can be prescribed by a doctor for specific medical conditions we have good data to see which cannabis strains are most popular. While the specific cannabis strains used for medical purposes in Israel may vary, some strains are more commonly used for their therapeutic properties. These strains often have higher levels of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, and lower levels of THC, the psychoactive compound.

Some popular medical cannabis strains include White Widow, Harlequin, and Charlotte’s Web, which are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving effects. Other strains such as Sapphire OG and Wedding Cake may also be used for medical purposes, as they are known for their calming and mood-enhancing effects. And are consider one of the best weed strains in Israel. As always, when it comes to matching strains to medical conditions, it’s important to discuss the use of medical cannabis with a doctor and to obtain it from a reputable source.

Israeli Import Strategy

Importing medical cannabis to Israel can bring many benefits to patients who rely on the plant for relief from various medical conditions. In recent years, Israel has become a leader in medical cannabis research and development, making it a hub for innovation in the industry. Importing high-quality medical cannabis products from other countries can provide patients with a wider range of treatment options and ensure that they receive the best possible care.

In 2020, Israel imported around 3.8 metrics ton of medical cannabis. Primarily from Canada and the Netherlands, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. As more patients seek alternative treatments for their medical conditions. Key figures in the Israeli medical cannabis industry include companies such as Canndoc, Panaxia, and Tikun Olam, which have been at the forefront of research and development in the field. Additionally, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has been an outspoken advocate for the legalization and regulation of medical cannabis in the country.

Air Shipment of Medical Cannabis to Europe

Since 2020, Israel has been importing medical cannabis from several countries to meet the increasing demand for medicinal cannabis within the country. The rise in demand for medical cannabis in Israel has been attributed to the increased awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis, the expansion of the country’s medical cannabis program, and the growing number of patients using medical cannabis to manage their symptoms.

One of the significant deals that led to the increase in medical cannabis importation was between the Israeli medical cannabis company, Panaxia, and the Australian company, PhytoTech Medical. The deal, signed in February 2020, was valued at $12 million and involved the importation of medical cannabis to Israel.

In 2021, the Israeli government signed an agreement with the Canadian cannabis company, Aurora Cannabis, to import up to 4 metric tons of medical cannabis over two years. The agreement was valued at $90 million and aimed to increase the supply of medical cannabis in Israel.

The volume of medical cannabis imported to Israel has also increased significantly in recent years. In 2018, Israel imported approximately 6 metric tons of medical cannabis. This number increased to 10.5 metric tons in 2019 and 16.5 metric tons in 2020, 21 metrics ton in 2021 and it surpassed 35 metric tons in 2022. Making Israel the largest importer of medical cannabis in the world.

Import Standard

The CUMCS-GAP standard is a set of guidelines for the cultivation, processing, and distribution of medical cannabis products imported to Israel. The standard was developed by the Israeli Medical Cannabis Association (IMCA). and is based on the principles of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

The CUMCS-GAP standard aims to ensure that medical cannabis products are produced and distributed in a safe and effective manner, with a focus on quality control and consistency. The standard covers all aspects of the medical cannabis supply chain. From cultivation to distribution, and includes guidelines for facility design, production processes, quality control, and documentation.

Compliance with the CUMCS-GAP standard is mandatory for all medical cannabis producers in Israel and is subject to regular inspections by the Israeli Ministry of Health’s Medical Cannabis Unit. By adhering to this standard. Medical cannabis producers can ensure that their products meet the highest quality and safety standards.

CUMCS-GAP Benefits

Implementing the CUMCS-GAP standard in the production and distribution of medical cannabis products can provide numerous benefits for patients. Firstly, the standard ensures that medical cannabis products are produced and distributed in a safe and effective manner. With a focus on quality control and consistency. This means that patients can be confident that the medical cannabis they receive is of a high quality and free from contaminants. Ensuring that they receive the best possible care.

Additionally, adherence to the CUMCS-GAP standard can help to improve the standardization of medical cannabis products. Which can improve the accuracy of dosing and reduce the risk of adverse effects. This can be particularly important for patients who require precise dosing to manage their medical conditions. Furthermore, the CUMCS-GAP standard requires strict documentation and record-keeping. Which can help to ensure traceability and accountability throughout the medical cannabis supply chain. Providing patients with greater transparency and trust in the system.

Overall, implementing the CUMCS-GAP standard can help to ensure that medical cannabis products meet the highest quality and safety standards. Providing patients with access to safe and effective treatments for their medical conditions.

Export cannabis from Africa

Process of Importing Medical Cannabis to Israel

Importing medical cannabis into Israel can be a complex process. But with the right guidance, it is entirely possible. For business people looking to import medical cannabis to Israel. for distribution to patients in need, there are certain steps you must take to ensure that you meet Israeli health regulations. And obtain the necessary licenses. This guide will walk you through the steps you need to take to obtain the appropriate licenses and ensure compliance with Israeli regulations.

Step 1: Obtain a Medical Cannabis Import License

The first step in importing medical cannabis to Israel is to obtain an import license. This license is issued by the Israeli Ministry of Health’s Medical Cannabis Unit. To obtain an import license, you will need to complete an application and provide documentation that includes:

  • A description of the medical cannabis products you wish to import, including their source, manufacturer, and batch numbers.
  • A certificate of analysis (COA) for each product that you wish to import. This COA must show that the product has been tested for potency, purity, and contaminants.
  • A valid GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certificate or equivalent certification for each product that you wish to import. This certificate shows that the product has been manufactured in a facility that adheres to strict quality standards.
  • An authorization letter from the manufacturer that confirms that they agree to export the product to Israel.

Once you have gathered all of the required documentation. You can submit your application to the Medical Cannabis Unit. The processing time for an import license can take up to six weeks. So it is important to plan accordingly.

Step 2: Obtain a Controlled Substances License

In addition to an import license, you will also need a controlled substances license from the Israeli Ministry of Health’s Pharmaceutical Division. This license is required because medical cannabis is considered a controlled substance in Israel.

To obtain a controlled substances license, you will need to submit an application to the Pharmaceutical Division that includes:

  • A copy of your import license from the Medical Cannabis Unit.
  • A description of the medical cannabis products you wish to import, including their source, manufacturer, and batch numbers.
  • A certificate of analysis (COA) for each product that you wish to import. This COA must show that the product has been tested for potency, purity, and contaminants.
  • A valid IMC-GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certificate or equivalent certification for each product that you wish to import. This certificate shows that the product has been manufactured in a facility that adheres to strict quality standards.
  • A business plan that outlines your plans for distribution of the medical cannabis products in Israel.

Step 3: Meet Israeli Health Regulations

Once you have obtained both the import license and the controlled substances license. You can begin importing medical cannabis into Israel. However, it is important to ensure that you meet all Israeli health regulations when distributing the products to pharmacies.

The Medical Cannabis Unit requires that all medical cannabis products be stored in a secure and monitored location that is equipped with a CCTV system. Additionally, you must ensure that the medical cannabis products are transported in a secure. And tamper-evident manner to prevent any unauthorized access or tampering.

Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the medical cannabis products are labeled correctly. With clear indications of the active ingredients, dosage, and any potential side effects. The labeling must also include the manufacturer’s name, batch number, and expiration date.

Step 4: Meet Israeli Agriculture Regulations

Before importing agricultural products into Israel including medical cannabis. It is necessary to comply with certain requirements set by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

One such requirement is to obtain the appropriate phytosanitary certificate for the product being imported. Additionally, importers must submit a 109 form, also known as the import protocol. Which details the specific product being imported, the country of origin, and the importer’s information. The 109 form also includes a declaration of conformity to Israeli health and safety standards. Which must be signed by the importer. This form is crucial in ensuring that the agricultural product being imported meets the necessary standards and regulations in Israel. Including those related to pest control, chemical residues, and labeling requirements.

Medical Cannabis Lab Testing

WeGROW's Cannabis Production Platform

‘WeGROW’ has both its cultivation and processing facilities based 1,600 meters above sea-level in the mountains of Lesotho, where clean air and peaceful environment ensure the growth of high quality cannabis plants according to strict CUMCS-GAP Principles for cultivation, extraction and the processing of cannabis for the medicinal and pharmaceutical markets by exporting medical cannabis to Israel and other global cannabis markets.

The 60,000 square meter cannabis facility in Lesotho has 30,000 square meter of production space in a unique hybrid greenhouse environment and employs >100 members of the surrounding communities.

The greenhouse is built to harness the power of the sun and improve the quality of the cannabis flower. The unique greenhouse design utilizes the power of the sun to increase terpenes and resin development throughout the life cycle of the plant. This unique growing technique, paired with innovative processing techniques, allows for a finely cured and crafted product that consumer across Israel enjoy.

WeGROW’s products are reliable because each variety contains a consistent amount of cannabinoids and terpenes. They are also free of contaminants such as microbes, pesticides and heavy metals. These qualities make WeGROW cannabis products reliable and safe for patients, while ensuring distributors a safe route to import cannabis from Africa.

Energy Efficient

WeGROW is producing at highest quality in a facility that sets the gold standard for the cannabis industry. Our greenhouses are powered by sunlight to provide optimal growing conditions.


Compassionate pricing is a game-changer that not only subscribes to our values of accessibility for all, but makes us highly competitive as a supplier to international markets.

Benefits of Importing from WeGROW

Pricing: Medical cannabis is still far too unaccessible and expensive. Especially for out-of-pocket patients. Yet high quality cannabis can be grown very cheaply in many parts of the world like in Africa. We are bringing it to Israel. We guarantee highest quality through our production process and pass on the price advantages to patients through low production costs and high volumes. 

Market Fit: WeGROW fullfils the strict Israeli quality standards for medicinal cannabis. As a result, patients receive cannabis flowers as high-quality medicinal products that meet all regulatory requirements according to the CUMCS-GAP standard.

Branding: WeGROW operates as a trusted long-term production partner offering white or private label services for the importer to build their brand in the markets they operate.

Logistics: Sending cannabis around the world is not that easy. In close coordination with WeGROW’s processing partners. they coordinate the obtaining of import and export permits and advise them on all issues that may arise. – from the correct transport packaging to the choice of the logistics company. Once arrived in Israel, the cannabis gets prepared for production into a medicinal product in a highly secured and climatically standardised storage facilities.

Processing: The essential manufacturing steps for cannabis medicinal products take place in an GMP-IMC (Israeli Medical Cannabis) certified production facility in Israel. Every single flower is processed and inspected. 

Quality: Protocols of controls and laboratory analyses at various points along the production process ensure the reliable pharmaceutical quality of the end product. Patients can thus concentrate fully on their therapy and do not have to worry about the quality of the medicines.

WeGROW's Rich THC Medical Strains

As the leading exporter of Cannabis products out of Lesotho we have developed a unique genetic portfolio of 13 stable high demanded medical grade strains. Backed with years of successful reputation import medical cannabis to Israel. These strains are highly THC concentrated and specially adopted for chronicle pain syndromes. View our selected portfolio of strains.

Interested to import Cannabis to Israel?

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