By / August 11, 2020

Argentina and Israel join forces to develop the cannabis industry

The Argentine ambassador in Israel, Sergio Urribarri, has been holding a series of working meetings with officials from Jujuy and Entre Ríos and with national legislators who are promoting the development of the medical cannabis industry in Argentina. The objective is to generate actions that aim at transferring knowledge from Israel, a world leader in research, development and legislation in the field.

The former governor of Entre Ríos led a meeting with Gastón Morales, president of Cannabis Avatara, a state-owned company that promotes research and development of crops in the province of Jujuy, and with Jorge Gerard, secretary of science and technology for the government of Entre Ríos. Also participating was National Deputy Carolina Gaillard, promoter of the cannabis law, who is currently working in Congress on the drafting of regulations.

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Israel would facilitate cannabis knowledge to Argentina

“Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of research, legislation, training and development of the medical cannabis industry and we want to facilitate the transfer of all this knowledge to our country,” Urribarri explained during the meeting.

The ambassador also indicated that other provinces will be invited to participate, since “Israel is very interested and is looking at the research and development that is growing in Argentina in this area.

One of the activities being organized is a training program for doctors and other professionals working in medical cannabis, given by experts from Yissum, which is the center for technology transfer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In addition, the Embassy is in contact with the Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency, which is part of the Ministry of Health, and with specialists from the Volcani Institute, an organization similar to the Argentine INTA. With these institutions, the Embassy seeks to advance different work initiatives, among them the possibility of establishing an exchange with Argentinean legislators and officials on the advances in the institutional and regulatory development that took place in Israel in relation to the cannabis industry.

From Jujuy, Gastón Morales described the experience in his province with the objective of designing a state policy to satisfy the public health need to provide medicinal products derived from cannabis to people suffering from different diseases. At the same time, he mentioned the importance of deploying the productive and development potential represented by the cultivation and processing of cannabis.

“It is a challenge that we are facing from Jujuy and we consider it very valuable to have access to know first-hand the experience of Israel, which led the country to be one of the most prominent in the field,” said Morales.

“This is a topic that we are passionate about because, as Ambassador Urribarri understands well from his political career, this work really changes the quality of life of people and there is no greater satisfaction than that,” he said later.

Installing laboratories could help control the production of cannabis

Gerard, from Entre Rios, stressed that many patients are already using cannabis products made without supervision. In view of this, he valued the possibility of learning about the Israeli experience and training the many professionals in Entre Ríos who are already working on the issue, with a view to installing laboratories that can control production.

The official from Entre Ríos was for many years the rector of the National University of Entre Ríos (UNER) and has already made progress in the negotiations for the possible signing of an agreement with the university to provide training within this academic framework.

Gerard also said that different training courses are being carried out in Entre Ríos, but he warned that “they are not incompatible, but complementary to this international knowledge that we will be able to access”. Then, he highlighted the level and the possibility that professionals have access to international certifications that working together with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem represents.

Gaillard, in turn, highlighted the importance of these actions “that will contribute to more provincial States opening up to this issue”. Regarding the legal issues, she warned that for the work in the Congress it is essential to have information on the experience that Israel is carrying out, which, “by far, is the country that has made the most progress on this issue, so there are many issues that can be taken advantage of, especially to see how they solved the regulatory obstacles that have arisen”.

The working group -which also includes the head of the Embassy’s Chancery, Francisco Tropepi, and the head of the Commercial Section, Lucila Caviglia- will meet again this week to continue advancing in the design of the different actions and share the results of the steps taken.


(Featured image by Rafael Guimarães via Pexels)

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