By Yardena Schwartz APRIL 11, 2017
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration labels marijuana a Schedule I narcotic, "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," the same classification as heroin, making cannabis more tightly controlled than cocaine and methamphetamines. This policy makes conducting marijuana research in the U.S. extremely difficult, as researchers must first obtain approval from the DEA, Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Enter Israel, which has become an international leader in cannabis research, partly fueled by the world's highest percentage of financial resources devoted to research.
Israel was among the first countries to legalize medical marijuana – it remains illegal for recreational use – and is one of just three countries with a government-sponsored cannabis program, along with Canada and the Netherlands. The Israeli parliament recently took steps towards legalizing the export of medical marijuana. The Israeli company Breath of Life will soon open a 1-million-square-foot grow-house and research center in southern Israel. The space will be among the largest medical cannabis growth and R&D facilities in the world, according to Viridian Capital Advisors, a financial firm focused on the cannabis market
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