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Morocco is set to legalise cannabis for medical use. The Moroccan government has ratified draft legislation that would allow the medical use of cannabis. However, the legislation still has to pass through the Moroccan parliament.
Th incoming law would introduce the formation of a Moroccan regulatory agency to deal with the new medical cannabis sector. Even though this change of the law surrounding medical cannabis is very positive. Recreational use of cannabis will remain outlawed.
The draft legislation proposes that illicit cannabis cultivation sites would be transformed into legal and durable activities that would drive innovation in the Moroccan cannabis industry and it would create jobs for the Moroccan population.
Morocco has long been considered one of the market leaders and top producers of illegal cannabis. This seems like a sensible first step to transform this expertise into providing medical cannabis that can compete on a global scale. The formation of a regulated medical cannabis market means that the Moroccan can begin to take control of the cannabis sector that has for so long been controlled by criminals.
A recent publication by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) disclosed that Morocco is the largest producer of hashish on the planet. Hash is also known as cannabis resin and Morocco is believed to be Europe’s largest supplier of cannabis.
Morocco is believed to have produced over 700 tonnes of cannabis in 2020.
There is said to be approximately 55,000 hectares of land in the mountainous region of Rif are used to produce illicit cannabis. It is expected that such operations will soon shift to produce medical cannabis products. The reforms may help to improve the lives of Morocco’s farmers.
The bill was approved by the Moroccan Cabinet on the 12th of March after numerous delays. The legislation will now be submitted to the Moroccan parliament. If the legislation passes, then Morocco will become one of only a few countries in the region to have legalised cannabis which could give them a first mover advantage. There are many senior Moroccan politicians that support the new legislation including the country’s Prime Minister. However, there are a number of parties that are opposed to the bill including the powerful Islamist Justice and Development Party.
If the legislation is passed by the Moroccan parliament, a new medical cannabis sector will be launched, paving the way for Morocco to compete on the global playing field of medical cannabis.