Cannabis and Mariujana cultivation in Lebanon

The "Business Insider" website published an article in which it touched upon Lebanon's trend towards legalizing "Indian hemp" known as "hashish", and marijuana, which is also extracted from hemp, after a study prepared by the American company "McKinsey", which indicated that agriculture and export would constitute a strong boost to the Lebanese economy. troubled.

The website pointed to what Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard that Lebanon is preparing to legalize the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, as part of efforts to revive the economy.

This step comes after the consulting company "McKinsey" submitted a report to the Lebanese government, which includes a number of economic initiatives, including the legalization of cannabis. The company had contracted with Lebanon in January 2018, with the aim of coming up with a plan to improve the country's economy.

The website mentioned that Lebanon has been suffering from high unemployment and slow growth since 2011, when the war broke out in Syria, according to the International Monetary Fund.

He quoted a study prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2016, stating that Lebanon is the third largest producer of cannabis in the world, and the attempt today is to transfer this to the legal framework.

A McKinsey spokesperson told Business Insider that the Lebanese government had asked the company to assess the impact of legalizing cannabis as part of a suite of more than 150 initiatives to boost the country’s economy, noting that the McKinsey report did not explicitly provide for the legalization of cannabis. Medicinal cannabis, and even provided details of the positive economic benefits of this matter.

The website referred to what Economy Minister Raed Khoury recently told Bloomberg Agency that “marijuana” in Lebanon is one of the best in the world, expecting it to return one billion dollars to the Lebanese economy.

 It is worth noting that the Bekaa region is known as the center of cannabis cultivation, and it was known as a “forbidden” area due to the wealthy and armed clans that control the production of cannabis, and which are trying to protect themselves by securing the source of livelihood represented by cannabis. The website added that this situation may change soon, if the Lebanese parliament passes the legalization of cannabis and begins exporting internationally.

Since Canada became the second country - and first of the group of seven countries - to legalize cannabis for use by adults, several countries around the world have looked to reform their approach and are moving toward legalization, largely for economic reasons.

He pointed out that a number of investment banks expected the cannabis market to advance, which would encourage some countries to re-evaluate the ban. Arcview Market Research, a company that researches cannabis, has forecast that global spending on legal cannabis will reach $32 billion by 2022, representing a growth rate of 22%.

Thailand, a country ruled by a military junta with some of the strictest policies toward drug users in the world, is also discussing a bill that would legalize medical cannabis in the country, making it the first Asian country to do so, according to "Bloomberg."

Like Lebanon, Thailand has long been a center for cannabis cultivation - due to its favorable tropical climate - and seeks to compete with Canada for access to lucrative export markets.

Zimbabwe, another country that has taken a tough stance on drugs, legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes last April, allowing individuals and companies to apply for licenses to grow the plant, while cannabis growers were previously sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to the Associated Press.