With the economic benefits of cannabis increasingly coming into focus, many countries are considering some form of legalization. Most recently, Lebanon has announced a plan to legalize the use and cultivation of medical marijuana. The move could become an important boost to the country’s struggling economy.
Cannabis Could Lift Lebanon’s Economy
As reported by CNN, Lebanon’s decision to think about legalizing medical marijuana is largely based on economic motives. In particular, officials in the country appear to be taking seriously a recent report created by consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
In that report, McKinsey outlined a number of things Lebanon could do to increase economic activity. Growing and producing medical marijuana was one of these suggestions. The firm said that entering the global medical marijuana industry could be a key to economic growth in Lebanon.
Now, it appears that top officials in Lebanon have voiced support for such a move. In particular, House Speaker Nabih Berri has publicly said he wants to see the country legalize medical marijuana and medical marijuana cultivation.
He then went a step further. He said that the Lebanese parliament is already working on a plan to make it happen. So far, no specific details have been revealed. Similarly, there hasn’t been any indication of a possible timeline for when all this might happen.
Cannabis Cultivation Could be a Perfect Fit for Lebanon
Interestingly, growing medical marijuana could be a perfect fit for Lebanon. The country is already known for producing tons of illegal cannabis. Even better, it has a reputation around the world for producing some of the highest quality product anywhere.
In fact, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that Lebanon was one of the top five biggest producers of hash in the entire world.
“In the Near East, cannabis resin produced in Lebanon is used to supply other markets in the subregion,” the 2016 UNODC World Drug Report said.
All told, Lebanon’s marijuana output is reportedly worth around $4 billion. That means that the country already has a strong network of growers, grow sites, and even global distribution.
A legal medical marijuana industry could build on the already established growing expertise in the country. Further, a legal system in Lebanon would also take advantage of the country’s ideal climate for cannabis cultivation. Finally, it would also tap into Lebanon’s already established reputation for producing incredibly high-quality cannabis.
Lebanon Plans for Medical Marijuana Use and Cultivation
While there is reportedly a growing number of authorities in favor of legal medical marijuana and medical marijuana cultivation, it’s unclear if this support is widespread.
Adding to that uncertainty, ongoing political unrest in the country could make it difficult to smoothly initiate any big changes to cannabis laws.
But these types of changes have already been a topic of discussion throughout the country. Just last month, one of the country’s leading universities announced plans to formally begin studying medical marijuana.
According to the announcement, Lebanese American University will launch the Medicinal Cannabis Research Center. It will study various aspects of marijuana cultivation, medical uses, and economic impact.