New Mexico cannabis company starts exporting to Israel
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New Mexico cannabis company starts exporting to Israel

Ultra Health becomes one of first US firms to send medical marijuana to Jewish state

A cannabis plant at the Knesset in 2009 for a meeting on medical marijuana in the parliament's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
A cannabis plant at the Knesset in 2009 for a meeting on medical marijuana in the parliament's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

A US medical marijuana company from New Mexico has begun exporting cannabis-based medicine to Israel.

Ultra Health spokeswoman Marissa Novel said recently that the company started exporting earlier this month through a partnership with Israeli pharmaceutical group Panaxia.

The medicine was created using hemp grown in Bernalillo County.

Ultra Health is believed to be one of the first US companies to export medical marijuana to Israel.

Ultra Health CEO and president Duke Rodriguez said New Mexico officials had played a crucial role in getting the export effort started.

Israel for the first time in November made clear its intention to back the burgeoning medical cannabis sector with the issuance of a ministry white paper on Israel’s Medical Cannabis Innovation, mapping out the industry’s ecosystem — the key players, leading startups, breakthrough research at academic institutions, government regulations, and opportunities that await investors should they decide to take the plunge.

“This is a statement by the State of Israel that it is promoting the sector of cannabis for medical use,” just as it has previously promoted the cybersecurity and auto-technology industries, said Ziva Eger, the chief executive at Invest in Israel, the Ministry of Economy and Industry’s arm for promoting foreign investment in Israel.

There are a growing number of foreign investors who are interested in Israel’s cannabis ecosystem, she said in November.

The global medical cannabis industry is expected to grow from $13.4 billion in 2018 to $44 billion by 2024, according to the IMARC Group. This surge is driven by an increasing acceptance that the plant-based drug can be used to alleviate a wide range of afflictions. Gradual legalization in countries around the world is helping boost the industry.

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