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Tel Aviv Stock Exchange launches cannabis index

JERUSALEM, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange launched on Monday a new index for nine medical cannabis companies in an effort to boost trade in the burgeoning, yet not quite mature, sector.

Israel is a leader in marijuana research and this year the government approved exports of medical cannabis, paving the way for sales abroad expected to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

The new index includes nine companies that are “primarily engaged in the fields of research, cultivation, sale or production and marketing of medical cannabis products”, the stock exchange said.

Though the index has a relatively low market cap of 1.7 billion shekels ($529 million), the bourse said it launched the index to indicate trends and as a “benchmark for active mutual funds that offer exposure to this emerging and growing sector”.

$1 = 3.2151 shekels Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Robert Birsel

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