Lebanon Officially Legalizes Cannabis Cultivation

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Lebanon’s parliament just voted to legalize the cultivation of marijuana (cannabis) for medical purposes and to boost the frail economy.

The bill for legalizing the cultivation of marijuana for medical and industrial purposes was previously approved by parliamentary committees after the draft bill was introduced in July 2018, and was waiting for the parliament’s vote.

After decades of crackdowns, many farmers in the Bekaa Valley have hoped for its legalization. It is a source of great income in a struggling Lebanon.

According to independent journalist Kareem Chehayeb, it was legalized to export to pharmaceutical companies outside of Lebanon. However, any trade within Lebanon will remain illegal. Recreational use of marijuana is still illegal.

Marijuana has long been used for medical purposes as it contains CBD which comes with a number of benefits from “relieving insomnia, anxiety, spasticity, and pain to treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy,” according to Harvard Medical School.

Recently, the Lebanese army made its biggest drug bust ever. Since it is now legal, illegal drug smuggling should decrease.

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