Canada again finds itself in hot water over the import-export of commercial medical cannabis.
The commissioner of Israel’s Trade Levies Unit opened an “anti-dumping” investigation in mid-January concerning the importation of medical marijuana from Canada after finding “a causal link” between the imports and “damage” to Israel’s local cannabis industry.
Any move to restrict imports could have a major impact on Canada’s fragile cannabis exports sector, as Israel currently accounts for more than one-third of all cannabis exports from Canada by weight.
In fiscal year 2023, Israel imported roughly 21,000 kilograms (21 metric tons) of cannabis from Canada for commercial and scientific use, data from the regulator Health Canada shows.
In a letter to Michael Mancini, chief commercial counselor for the Embassy of Canada in Israel, Danny Tal, director of import administration at Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, wrote: “I wish to inform you that after I found that special circumstances exist, I have decided to initiate an Anti-Dumping investigation concerning the importation of medical cannabis from Canada.
“Our findings, regarding whether there is dumping, consequent injury and the duty required, will be determined on the basis of best information available. It is therefore important that every interested party will submit information, evidence, their arguments and an answered questionnaire.”
In a statement to MJBizDaily, Global Affairs Canada, which manages the nation’s diplomatic ties, said it was “disappointed” in Israel’s move.
“We are disappointed with Israel’s decision to initiate an anti-dumping investigation on imports of medical cannabis from Canada,” agency spokesperson Jean-Pierre Godbout said in a statement.
“We are as well reviewing the details of Israel’s decision and will engage with implicated Canadian exporters.”
The investigation was launched after Israeli companies reportedly suffered financial losses because of competition with cheap Canadian imports, according to Israeli Cannabis Magazine, which first reported the investigation.
The period of investigation will be:
Jan. 1, 2023-Dec. 31, 2023, for any anti-dumping activities.
Jan. 1, 2021-Dec. 31, 2023, for any damages to local business.
“The determination whether provisional measures are required and the estimated rate of the anti-dumping duty – according to which the provisional duty is set – will not be made before the interested parties have had the opportunity, within the time constraints of the law, to submit further information, evidence, their arguments and an answered questionnaire, if they so wish,” Tal wrote.
Matt Lamers can be reached at email@example.com.