First it was Lebanon, now Morocco has followed suit. The Kingdom has become the second Arab nation to allow the farming, export and sale of cannabis for medical use.
The government made the announcement on Thursday, with the bill set to be approved next week. The move comes as an effort to improve the lives of impoverished farmers in the nation’s Rif mountains. As such, the production of cannabis will only be allowed in the six Rif regions.
As it stands, Morocco’s cannabis industry is estimated to be an $8 billion market, according to leaked documents. It estimates profits from the currently illicit industry to sit at $15 billion, $14.5 billion of which is earned by illegal traffickers. Legalizing the production of cannabis would allow farmers to significantly increase their incomes.
The bill proposes a national agency that will monitor the production, transportation and sales of cannabis in Morocco, calling it the ‘National Agency for the Regulation of Indian Hemp Activities’.
The use of cannabis recreationally remains prohibited, however. Cannabis would solely be produced for “medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial” purposes.