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Companies remain optimistic about the business, despite Netanyahu’s freeze on exports For Israel’s aspiring corporate cannabis growers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision last week to freeze exports was a setback – but not an irreversible one. The ban on exports of medical marijuana is temporary, until Prof. Avi Simhon, the prime minister’s chief economic adviser, has completed a study of the matter. The growers are convinced that Simhon and Netanyahu will eventually be persuaded that cannabis is a real business that can earn billions of shekels in tax revenues. 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.” Medivie, the other marijuana company, spelled out the attractive economics of the marijuana business in a prospectus released last December. The cost of erecting a greenhouse and the required security and production operations on a four-dunam farm comes to 10 million shekels ($2.8 million), it estimates. Israeli Firms See Big Global Demand for Medical Cannabis – if Government Allows Exports

thumbnail courtesy of haaretz.com