Police bust network of doctors illegally selling medical cannabis licenses

Drug dealers exploited the criminal network in order to buy cannabis and sell it for a profit.

 MANY USE marijuana and other drugs to self-medicate (Illustrative).  (photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR/FLASH90)
MANY USE marijuana and other drugs to self-medicate (Illustrative).
(photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR/FLASH90)

Israel Police busted a network of senior doctors that was illegally selling medical cannabis licenses online, operating in 20 locations and detaining or arresting 15 suspects on Monday morning.

Police first opened an investigation about a year ago when they received information about a Telegram channel which was offering medical cannabis licenses for sale to those without a medical history.

The investigation, conducted by the Lahav 433 national cyber unit, uncovered a network of doctors and mediators who produced and sold the licenses for thousands of shekels each.

The customers also bought license renewals and approvals for increased dosages from the criminal network. In total, the offenses committed by the network are estimated to be worth more than NIS 17 million.

Drug dealers also used the network to buy cannabis in order to sell it for a profit.

An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)

Another company helped customers make cover stories to get illegal licenses

Police also discovered a company that was providing the criminal network with a package of services, posing as a legitimate one helping individuals exploit their legal rights in the field of medical cannabis.

The company helped those attempting to buy a license to come up with a "cover story" to use as an excuse for recommending the use of cannabis and on how to obtain the necessary medical documents.

The doctors and the other suspects in the case are facing charges of taking and giving bribes, fraud and breach of trust, drug trafficking and supply, forgery under aggravated circumstances and crimes under the Income Tax Ordinance, among other charges.