Ashark Al Aw-Sat reports this week that……Cannabis cultivation for medical and industrial use is about to be legalized based on a draft law approved by the parliamentary committees on Wednesday and referred to Parliament for adoption.
The website adds
While the proposal specified that the cultivation of cannabis would be solely targeted for medical and industrial purposes and would be governed by relevant regulations and laws, some parties warned against the negative repercussions that such a decision might entail, due to the lack of law enforcement and the political reality in Lebanon.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Agriculture Minister Abbas Mortada stressed that there was a detailed study on the returns of cannabis legislation, which was recommended by the US McKinsey plan on developing the Lebanese economy. The study estimates that this industry could generate one billion USD annually to the state treasury.
Areas currently cultivated with “hashish” (cannabis), the income of farmers is estimated at about USD 600 million, while for merchants it may reach two billion or more. He also noted that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had ranked Lebanon as the third major source of hashish in the world for 2018 after Afghanistan and Morocco.
On the other hand, the president of the National Health Authority, former deputy Ismail Sukariyeh, questions the financial returns of cannabis legislation, warning at the same time against exploiting it in the absence of the state and the prevailing political and sectarian quotas.
“Based on my experience in the medical field, in a worn-out country that does not apply laws, the cannabis cultivation legislation will lead to transgressions from some hospitals and medical agencies, in addition to a monopoly on their export,” he warned.