As reported by Agence France-Presse, both Lebanese pot farmers and government officials noted that in 2013 Lebanon's military did not conduct its annual bulldozer eradication of pot plants, primarily due to the Syrian Civil War, which originated in 2011.
According to pot grower Abu Sami, “This year, the harvest was abundant, and the authorities have left us alone because they are otherwise occupied.”
Joseph Skaff, Lebanon's drug enforcement chief, informed AFP: “There was no destruction of growing [marijuana] this year … The Syrian crisis played a major role in that.”
Lebanese cannabis cultivators told AFP that local and foreign demand for pot has increased more than 50 percent since 2012, with the majority of marijuana being sold in Syria. Syria has become a prime conduit for drugs exported to Europe and other destinations. Profits are also more substantial in Syria and abroad. According to sources, 40 grams of pot (slightly less than an ounce-and-a-half) would sell for $20 in Lebanon but fetches $100 in Syria and a whopping $500 in Turkey.
However, there is a downside for local growers in the flourishing Lebanese pot trade – the abundance of weed has driven down prices in Lebanon from $1,000 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) to $500.