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Israel Unanimously Approves Medical Marijuana Exports

The law was stalled for years over fears from security officials that medical marijuana would leak into the black market.

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An Israeli woman works at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel, Nov. 1, 2012. Late Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, Israel's parliament unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana. VOA

Israel’s Parliament has unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana, allowing Israel to tap the lucrative global market.

Israel will become the third country, after the Netherlands and Canada, to take its medical cannabis global.

The Israeli medical cannabis company iCAN predicts the global industry will reach $33 billion in the next five years, as stigma fades and demand grows for the few countries certified to export.

Marijuana, Canada, israel
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

The law was approved late Tuesday, sending cannabis company shares rising by about 10 percent.

The law was stalled for years over fears from security officials that medical marijuana would leak into the black market. To assuage concerns, the law empowers police to supervise licensing.

Also Read: Marijuana Considered Safe to Cure Epilepsy in Kids

The Israeli Cabinet must give final approval — a step seen as a formality. (VOA)

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Israel to Help India with Desertification and Water Management

World Day to Combat Desertification, which is observed every June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification

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The country is one of the world's leading nations in desert technologies and methods of dealing with desertification. Wikimedia Commons

At a time when several parts of India are facing acute water shortage and drought situation, Israel has expressed its keenness to share its experience in dealing with desertification and water management, in which it is a world leader.

Israel, with over 60 per cent of its territory being a desert and another 20 per cent semi-arid land, has developed a variety of solutions to desertification through desert agriculture, irrigation, desalination, aquaculture, afforestation and management of water resources. The country is one of the world’s leading nations in desert technologies and methods of dealing with desertification.

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The statement assumes significance as it comes at a time when several parts of India are facing acute water shortage and drought situation. Wikimedia Commons

“As part of our growing partnership with India, Israel is keen to work together and share all its experience and cutting edge technology in our joint fight against desertification, including a strategic partnership on water management and water security,” said Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka in a statement.

His statement came in the context of World Day to Combat Desertification, which is observed every June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The statement assumes significance as it comes at a time when several parts of India are facing acute water shortage and drought situation.

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World Day to Combat Desertification, which is observed every June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. Wikimedia Commons

A statement issued by the Israeli Embassy said MASHAV, the country’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, places special emphasis on development cooperation and assistance in the fight against desertification and drought by introducing international programs of capacity building, training, project development and research.

ALSO READ: UN Warns Millions in South Sudan to Face Acute Shortage of Food in Coming Weeks

MASHAV’s approach is based on Israel’s experience in facing harsh climatic conditions, combines the transfer of adaptable technology, research and development, and a hands-on experience originating from leading Israeli experts and institutions, it added.

Under the Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project with the federal and state governments of India, the centre of excellence for date palms in the heart of the desert in Bhuj, Gujarat introduced Indian farmers to date palms suitable for arid conditions made more common by desertification, the statement said. Date palms are ideal value crops for farmers in arid conditions that can be found in India and Israel alike, it added. (IANS)