Mira Altman, CEO of the ICC in JerusalemMira Altman, CEO of the ICC in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is famously one of the oldest cities in the world and a sacred place for millions. Less well known is the important role it plays in the field of scientific research into marijuana.

Israel has one of the world’s most progressive regulatory frameworks for medical cannabis use.

More than 500 companies have applied to produce cannabis products since February when the government advanced legislation that would allow its cultivation, manufacture and export.

Investors from all over the world are pumping millions into the country’s fledgling marijuana start-ups, eyeing a market that some believe will be worth US$20m a year by 2020 in the US alone.

Earlier this year Jerusalem’s Hebrew University opened the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research (MCCR), to integrate the research activities of various existing university laboratories and foster collaborations with other well-established international cannabis research groups.

And now the International Cannabinoid Research Society has announced that its International Symposium on the Cannabinoids 2021 will take place at the International Convention Center, in Jerusalem, hosted by MCCR, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Conventions & Visitors Bureau.

More than 400 scientists are expected to attend the meeting, which will mark the 90th birthday of Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, regarded as ‘the father of cannabinoid research’, in his home town.

Prof. Mechoulam is credited with pioneering medical cannabis research 50 years ago.

Prof. Cecilia Hillard, executive director of the ICRS, said: “Jerusalem holds a special place in the history of the science of cannabis and the endocannabinoids. Prof Mechoulam of Hebrew University was the first to publish the structure of the active principal of cannabis, THC, and was also the first to identify an endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide.”

Mira Altman, CEO of the (ICC) in Jerusalem, said:  “As the largest and leading conference center in Israel, the Jerusalem ICC looks forward to hosting this important conference aimed at bringing international researchers together to improve human health and well-being.”

Ilanit Melchior, director of Tourism in Jerusalem, said: “Bringing this global symposium to Jerusalem emphasizes the ongoing collaboration between multiple institutions including the JCVB, ICC, and MCCR. This partnership was only possible with the shared vision in highlighting the city’s potential as a leading scientific conference destination. Jerusalem offers an ideal setting to host  400 researchers, to promote the exchange of scientific information and gain new perspectives about cannabis.”