On Tuesday, April 21st, the Lebanese parliament agreed on the legalization of cannabis cultivation in the country, which can generate one billion dollars in yearly revenue, according to Lebanon’s General Directorate for Studies and Information.
The decision also gave hope to many who have been relying on illegal weed cultivation for decades.
It will be an economic refresh for weed farmers who, over the years, were either met with fines, prison sentences, or the burning of their fields of cultivation.
Minister of agriculture Abbas Murtada confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that a detailed study was made, and recommended, by the McKinsey plan in an attempt to develop Lebanon.
The study estimates that the legalizing of cannabis generates one billion dollars annually for the state treasury.
Murtada explained that “the Bekaa Valley is considered one of the best lands for cultivating cannabis, which is classified among the finest species in the world. Bekaa cannabis does not contain more than 1% of any narcotic substance.”
Mortada added that if Lebanon sold 1kg of cannabis for fifty dollars without manufacturing, it would support the Lebanese farms and secure a great profit for the state.
“If we go towards establishing factories and pharmaceutical factories, then the profits will double, in addition to the possibility that this law will lead to foreign companies investing with the aim of manufacturing drugs,” Mortada explained.
ِAccording to the Ministry of Information, the Lebanese researcher Mohamed Shamseddine explained that the area of cultivated land in the Bekaa is estimated at about three or four thousand hectares.
This is likely to increase significantly with the legislation of cannabis for medical use.
According to Shamseddine, the income of each 1000 square meters of cannabis is estimated at about 20 thousand dollars, which is much more than the profit of any other agriculture.
It is worthy to note that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC had ranked Lebanon as the third major source of weed in the world in 2018 after Afghanistan and Morocco.