The Ministries of Agriculture and Health will provide NIS 8 million in funding for 13 medical cannabis studies. The measure is the first cooperative effort of its kind between the Ministry of Health medical cannabis unit and the Ministry of Agriculture chief scientist unit.
The studies, which will be financed through a fund operated by the chief scientist unit, will deal with biochemical and medical aspects, as well as improving medical cannabis crop yields.
The Ministry of Agriculture today said that funding the studies was a pioneering step for Israel that could enable researchers to conduct basic and applied research for five years, during which tools and infrastructure would be developed to facilitate the next generation of cannabis plant products for medical use.
Among the biochemical and medical studies approved by the Ministries of Agriculture and Health are identification and specification of new ingredients in strains of medical cannabis, the use of cannabis and its effect on vision, involvement of cannabis in the development of colon cancer, treatment of multiple sclerosis using cannabis, the use of cannabis to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and a test of the plant's ability to delay the development of harmful bacteria. These studies will soon receive government funding.
In addition to these trials, in the coming years, the state will fund research examining the development of new and improved technologies for irrigating and fertilizing cannabis plants, improved ways of dealing with plant diseases and pests that attack the cannabis plant, development of methods for multiplying and grafting cannabis plants, establishing a genetic bank and national bank of medical cannabis plants, improving and developing new cannabis strains, and more.
The 13 cannabis studies to receive state support will be conducted by drug companies, universities, research institutes, and hospitals, after teams under their auspices responded to a call by Ministry of Agriculture chief scientist Dr. Avichai Pearl.
A special committee examined the proposals, and made its selection for state financial support from the 30 submitted. Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel said, "The program shows that agriculture is important in all aspects of life."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 23, 2017
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