Lebanon becomes the first Arab state to make cannabis legal for industrial production and medical usage.
The new bill was approved by Lebanon’s Parliament on April 21st, despite active resentment from Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist opposition party.
Until now, marijuana farming was illegally but actively flourishing in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Back in the 1990s, the government fought tooth and nail to suspend the weed business, but to no avail. In 2018 Lebanon was ranked one of the top five marijuana producers in the world by The UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
But from now on, cannabis will be used for pharmaceutical products, including CBD oil. Bekaa Valley will most likely remain the primary region for cultivation.
The legalization is undoubtedly treated as a remedy for the country’s economy since Lebanon is crippled by debts.
According to Bloomberg’s interview with Lebanon’s former caretaker minister Raed Khoury, the annual revenue can reach as much as $1 billion, considering proper taxation and production.