Israel Targets Canadian Cannabis in New ‘Anti-Dumping’ Probe

Canada is facing scrutiny over its medical cannabis exports to Israel. The Israeli Trade Levies Unit has initiated an anti-dumping investigation into Canadian imports, following claims that these imports are harming Israel’s local cannabis industry.

Israel, a major importer of Canadian cannabis, obtained approximately 21,000 kilograms of the product in the 2023 fiscal year for both commercial and scientific purposes. This figure represents over a third of Canada’s total cannabis exports by weight. The investigation, prompted by the alleged financial harm suffered by Israeli companies due to competitively priced Canadian imports, was first reported by Israeli Cannabis Magazine.

Danny Tal, the director of import administration at Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, has formally communicated the initiation of this investigation to Michael Mancini, the chief commercial counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Israel. The investigation will focus on the period from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023, for any anti-dumping activities, and from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023, for potential damages to local businesses.

The investigation has identified 10 Canadian companies that will have 30 days to submit their responses and evidence. These companies include prominent names like Auxly Cannabis Group, Canopy Growth Corp., Cronos Group, and others, covering a wide geographical range across Canada. The Green Organic Dutchman, now rebranded as BZAM, is also named in the probe.

Global Affairs Canada, managing the nation’s diplomatic relationships, expressed disappointment over Israel’s decision. Jean-Pierre Godbout, a spokesperson for the agency, indicated that they are closely examining the details of Israel’s decision and will engage with the impacted Canadian exporters.

Tilray Brands, one of the companies mentioned, acknowledged receiving the notice of inquiry but maintains that their operations comply with all applicable laws. They have primarily shipped to Israel from their facility in Portugal.

Health Canada, which oversees cannabis imports and exports, maintains that the trade of cannabis for medical or scientific purposes is tightly controlled. The regulator emphasizes its adherence to international obligations, stating that any international trade of cannabis is permitted only on a case-by-case basis and strictly for medical or scientific use.

This investigation is not Canada’s first confrontation over its cannabis trade policies. Both Colombia and Jamaica have previously accused Canada of favoring its domestic producers by blocking commercial imports. In 2021, Colombia raised concerns with the World Trade Organization about Canada’s import restrictions. This issue is gaining attention as there are few significant legal import markets for medical cannabis worldwide, and Canada, despite being a major player in this market, does not allow commercial imports.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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