Israel will likely allow exports of medical cannabis by the end of the year, a top lawmaker said on Thursday, a move that would boost state coffers and slow the growing number of firms establishing farms abroad.

Israeli companies - benefitting from a favorable climate and expertise in medical and agricultural technologies - are among the world’s biggest producers of medical cannabis.

The finance and health ministries estimate exports could bring in about $1 billion a year - but some MPs have up to now stopped Israeli-grown cannabis going abroad, fearing more cultivation could push more drugs onto the streets at home.

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Steven Scheer ~ Reuters.com