With Lebanon becoming the first country in the region to legalize cannabis farming for medical and industrial usage, a significant interest in its medical cannabis market has emerged from Europe, China, and Canada, and from within Lebanon as well as regionally.
That is what the Middle East law firm Wasel & Wasel observed, prompting it to establish on Wednesday the first medical cannabis law practice in the MENA region.
The firm has had so far “over eight hundred notes of interest” and “is receiving inquiries from worldwide investors to enter the Lebanese medical cannabis market,” Mahmoud Abuwasel, the Managing Partner of Wasel and Wasel, revealed.
And that, apparently, since the Lebanese Parliament legalized the cultivation, trade, research, and use of medical cannabis in April of this year, with all recreational production and use remaining illegal.
Lebanon is the world’s third-largest supplier of cannabis resin, or hashish, after Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.
And with the global medical cannabis market expected to increase to as much as USD 60 billion by 2024, Wasel & Wasel took the decision to start providing the required legal services when it comes to Lebanon’s market.
Commenting on the launch of the practice, Abuwasel said: “We have seen the medical cannabis industry boom rapidly in other jurisdictions. With global exposure and international trade in this industry, Lebanon is already seeing significant interest from global investors.”
The firm’s related services include counseling to pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, sellers, and buyers, biotech companies, cannabis real estate companies, and Lebanese investors looking to globalize their medical cannabis businesses, as well as foreign investors looking to explore the medical cannabis market in Lebanon.
Robert Raich, a Harvard graduate and former member of the California Attorney General’s Medical Marijuana Task Force joined Wasel & Wasel to support the new practice.
Raich was also counsel on the only two medical cannabis cases heard by the United States Supreme Court and was a Founding Board Member of the International Cannabis Bar Association.
“This is a very exciting time for this industry. Medical cannabis businesses in the US and other markets are always interested in exploring new economies to invest in this industry,” Raich said during the launch’s press release.
“Lebanon presents a great offering with its optimal geographical positioning and global market exposure, and I look forward to working with Wasel & Wasel in supporting clients in the US, Lebanon, and globally in Lebanon’s new industry,” he optimistically said, raising hopes for positive developments in Lebanon.
The practice will focus on navigating domestic licensing and regional and global compliance issues for import and export, intellectual property, insurance and taxation, plantations and operations, liability issues, and cross-jurisdictional trade and joint ventures.