By / March 20, 2024

Morocco’s First Legal Cannabis Harvest Yields 294 Tons

Morocco has announced that its first legal harvest of cannabis in 2023 amounted to 294 tons, one year after the country approved the cultivation and export of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes.

This impressive figure, which to our understanding includes the total weight of the whole plants harvested, comes from the three authorized areas of Morocco: Chefchaouen, Taounate, and Al Hoceïma. This initial harvest was carried out by 32 cooperatives comprising 430 farmers over 277 hectares, as specified by the National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis-Related Activities (ANRAC).

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Overview of the Morocco Harvest

Last year, the kingdom received 54 export licenses. To date, two legal cannabis processing units are operational, and two more are awaiting equipment, while 15 cannabis-based products are being authorized for medical use, adds ANRAC.

This year, the regulator in Morocco is reviewing applications from 1,500 farmers who have organized into 130 cooperatives, ANRAC further specifies, also noting that the cultivation of Beldia, a local variety resistant to drought, began this month.

Morocco has long been known for its cannabis production, with vast areas of the Rif mountain region in the north of the country dedicated to cultivation. However, until recently, the cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes remained illegal. Despite this, the cannabis industry thrived, albeit in the shadows.

Legalization and Regulation Beyond Morocco

The legalization of cannabis cultivation in Morocco signifies a paradigm shift in the country’s approach. By legalizing and regulating this industry, Morocco aims to increase farmers’ incomes, combat the illegal trafficking of narcotics, and tap into the potential of the global cannabis market. This measure also aims to protect farmers who have long depended on cannabis cultivation as their main source of income.

With the creation of legal cannabis cooperatives, farmers can now operate within a regulated framework, ensuring fair practices and economic stability. Furthermore, the move to legal cultivation paves the way for innovation and diversification within the cannabis industry, with a focus on medical and industrial applications.

As Morocco moves towards legal cannabis cultivation, it reflects broader global trends towards the legalization of cannabis. Countries such as Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, and Switzerland have recently legalized all or part of cannabis for recreational purposes.

(Featured image by Matteo Paganelli via Unsplash)

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