Morocco plans to authorize medical marijuana use and production as soon as early March under the Council of Ministers’ proposal which would organize marijuana growers into cooperatives that would sell the plant to international or regional processing firms.
The report says that the reform won’t legalize marijuana production across the country. It would only legalize it in six territories within Rif Mountains, the country’s conventional marijuana-producing territories. Production would fundamentally focus on marijuana production for industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical purposes.
Based on the bill’s provision, the country will require growers to apply for a license, be a Moroccan citizen, of authorized age, and residing within the country’s conventional marijuana-producing areas.
The legislation asserts that the country’s illicit marijuana trade is worth around $15 billion and a significant portion ($14.5 billion) is grabbed by drug traffickers leaving a meager $500 million to growers. Based on a Reuters report, Rif mountains’ inhabitants have protested against economic inequality during recent years.
Almost half a decade ago, the Moroccan government minimized the amount of space apportioned for cannabis cultivation from 13,000 to 47,000 hectares.
The country’s parliament that’s supervised by the Islamist PJD has to still approve the bills. Adult-use cannabis use and production will remain illegal.
During 2015, the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) named Morocco as the planet’s biggest hashish producer, and two-hundred and thirty tons of hashish were confiscated within the country in 2015 alone. The report concluded that 80% of the country’s hash production is meant for export and the remaining 20% circulates in the local market.
Previous attempts to authorize marijuana farming within Morocco have been futile; however, the PJD co-ruling party halted its opposition when the UNODC removed the crop from its list of highly controlled narcotic substances. This came after the World Health Organization’s move to make research into marijuana’s medical utility easier. Morocco was one of the states supporting that change.