Morocco has a legal cannabis regulatory agency

Morocco has a legal cannabis regulatory agency

The Moroccan Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis Legal held its first meeting in Rabat on Thursday, June 2, the last step before the implementation of a law legalizing the therapeutic use of this plant grown on a large scale in the northeast of the country .

The MoroccoThe world’s largest producer of cannabis resin, according to the United Nations, passed a law in 2021 authorizing it “The lawful uses of medical, cosmetic and industrial cannabis” under the control of a national agency set up for that purpose.

Also read: In Morocco, government wants to legalize “therapeutic” cannabis

For its first meeting, chaired by Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, the “National Cannabis Regulatory Agency” (Anrac) approved its organization chart and budget for the year 2022.

This public structure is responsible for controlling all stages of the production chain, from seed importation and plant certification to the marketing of cannabis products. In particular, its action plan includes the forthcoming launch of licensing procedures for domestic and international operators in the licit cannabis industry.

At least 60,000 families live on “kif”

The agency will also have to set up the first processing and manufacturing cooperatives, made up exclusively of local farmers. The last six technical decrees needed to implement the law were published in the official gazette on Thursday, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told AFP.

In March, the government set the permitted areas for the cultivation, production and exploitation of cannabis, the provinces of Al-Hoceima, Chefchaouen and Taounate, located in the Rif, a landlocked and deprived mountain region.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers In Morocco, small marijuana growers fear losing legalization

Traditionally cultivated for centuries, allowed under the French protectorate, banned in 1954 but tolerated since, the «How» it is home to at least 60,000 families on 55,000 hectares, according to official 2019 figures.

Other provinces could be added “According to the interest shown by domestic and international investors in activities related to the cannabis production chain”according to the Interior Ministry.

No “recreational” cannabis

This legal framework aims to enable the state to value a lucrative culture currently in the hands of traffickers. It is not about cannabis “Recreational”, always forbidden. The goal is to “Converting Illegal Crops Destroying the Environment into Sustainable Legal Activities That Generate Value and Jobs”according to the 2021 law.

Until now, small farmers in the North were affected “4% of final turnover in the illegal circuit” against potentially “12% in the legal market”according to the official agency MAP.

Morocco is counting on the “Sustainable development” global medical cannabis market, with average annual growth forecasts of around 60% in Europe, its “Target market”according to a note from the Ministry of the Interior published in 2021. Professionals estimate that the legal cannabis market in Europe is one billion dollars (0.8 billion euros).

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The World with AFP

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