Lebanon ranked third global supplier of cannabis in the world

The recreational use of cannabis remains illegal

As Lebanon celebrates the legalization of the cultivation of medical cannabis, Lebanese growers should know that Lebanon is ranked the third largest supplier of cannabis in the world, according to the UNODC 2019 Drugs Report.

UNODC wrote in his annual report that “Afghanistan appears to be the second largest source country for cannabis resin in the world, with 20% of all cannabis resin seized in the world which, according to the annual report questionnaire for the period 2013-2017, comes from this country, followed by Lebanon (6%) and Pakistan ”.

The main source of cannabis in the world remains Morocco. Lebanon was the fourth major source of cannabis from 1994 to 2003, then the third from 2007 to 2014, as reported by the UNODC in its annual reports. The project of law legalized cannabis for medical use only, the use of recreation remains illegal in Lebanon.

According to The Guardian, Lebanese farmers said that since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011-2012, their trade has increased by 50%. The reason for this growth is that the Lebanese authorities have focused their attention on border security, which means that wild plantations one could be cultivated more freely for illegal exploitation.

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The Bekaa Valley is considered to be one of the best land for growing cannabis, which is ranked among the best species in the world, and it contains no more than 1% narcotic substance.

“Today, it's estimated that they [the growers] make between $ 175 million and $ 200 million a year and export to the Gulf, Europe, Africa and North America,” the Guardian adds.

According to Bloomberg and the General Directorate of Studies and Information of Lebanon, cannabis cultivation can bring Lebanon more than a billion dollars a year.

The legalization of this culture is part of a package of reforms proposed by McKinsey & Company, an international consultancy firm committed to developing a five-year plan to rescue the struggling Lebanese economy.

However, some question the expected financial returns due to an expected monopoly of the industry and its export. Ismail Sukariyeh, the chairman of the National Health Authority, said in the report: “In my experience in the medical field, in a worn out country that does not enforce the laws, legislation on growing cannabis will result in transgressions on the part of certain hospitals and medical agencies, in addition to a monopoly on their export ”.

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It is still unclear whether McKinsey's plan calls for the Lebanese government to work with established farmers in the Bekaa or if it will build an entirely new industry. Nonetheless, growers remain optimistic, stressing that legal cultivation will prevent authorities from burning their farms.

Political analyst and professor at George Washington University in the United States, Firas Maksed explained that "if cannabis cultivation is regulated and taxed properly, it is a big step forward for Lebanon".

source: The961

Tags : LebanonUNstatisticalTrafic
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