Foreign businesses that are legally licensed to work in the cannabis industry in their native country could potentially qualify for licences
Lebanese parliament is poised to vote on a new law that would legalize the cultivation of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes.
The draft law has been endorsed by various parliamentary committees and is now facing a final vote.
Legislators hope the move will help boost the country’s struggling economy and take a bite out of the illicit market, although only cannabis containing less than one percent THC would be affected by move. That limit has rendered some critics dubious of its ability to curb illegal production.
Lebanon, which has a storied history of cannabis cultivation, produces massive volumes of hashish, which is made from the resin of the cannabis plant and produces a high often described as a “body buzz.” Despite its legal status as a prohibited substance, hashish is easily obtained and often exported en masse from the small Middle Eastern country.
Lebanese MP Yassine Jaber was in charge of the subcommittee that drafted the new legislation, and said the country is an ideal location for cannabis production.
“We have a competitive and a comparative advantage in the cannabis business,” Jaber told Al Jazeera. “Our soil is among the best in the world for this, and the cost of production is low compared to other states.”
Under the draft law, the country would create a regulatory commission to issue licences for importation, nurseries, planting, harvesting, manufacturing and producing cannabis products, as well as exportation.
Lebanese pharmaceutical companies, industries that create substances such as fibres, textiles and oils, and foreign businesses that are legally licensed to work in the cannabis industry in their native country could all potentially qualify for licences under the proposed system.
Lebanese citizens such as farmers, agricultural co-ops and researchers with permits to work with illicit substances could also qualify for licences.
Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis? Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.
Written by Emma Spears