Morocco inks promising partnership agreement for cannabis research

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On Thursday, October 7, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the Moroccan Consultative Association of Cannabis Use (AMCUC) signed a partnership agreement in Benguerir, to establish a research effort that will produce new insights into the cannabis plant’s medical, pharmaceutical and industrial uses.

Following the approval of a restricted version of cannabis legalization in May 2021, the new partnership strives to spark new scientific studies into the cannabis plant’s therapeutic qualities, not to mention form a legal, economic structure for its use.

About Morocco’s cannabis legalization initiative

Morocco’s medical cannabis legalization initiative is being fronted by the president of  AMCUC, Redouane Rabii, as well as the president of the UM6P, Hicham El Habti. As per details of the initiative, it will grant Moroccans a chance to introduce fresh practices in the budding sector.

“The partnership aims to train farmers in the northern region of the country and provide them with the best technologies for cannabis cultivation for medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes,” Redouane Rabii confirmed in a statement issued to Moroccan state media.

He also noted that the new partnership occurs simultaneously with the looming Congress on the licit use of cannabis derivatives, which was scheduled to take place over October 15, 16, and 17 in Tangier.

“The industry of cannabis and its derivatives for pharmaceutical, cosmetic and paramedical purposes offers opportunities to boost the Moroccan economy and allow the Kingdom to become one of the leading countries in the field,’ professor Rabii added in his statement.

“Through this partnership, we wish to develop the necessary scientific research in order to improve Morocco’s global ranking in the field of the legal uses of cannabis and its derivatives,” said Ahmed Labied, who also serves as a member of the AMCUC.

Cannabis laws in Morocco

On May 26, 2021, the Moroccan parliament voted to legalize medical cannabis use, in addition to legalizing the plant for cosmetic and industrial purposes. However, recreational cannabis remains illegal in Morocco. 

A second vote that occurred on June 16, 2021 validated the legalization, but not before some revisions suggested by the Chamber of Councillors were made. Years of deliberation led to Morocco’s Parliament agreeing to legalize medical cannabis in a somewhat limited way; legislation bill number 13.2.

The Parliament affirms that it will continuously funnel resources into Morocco’s medical cannabis industry as a way of raising awareness about the plant’s medical properties, as well as to create more job opportunities across the Northern African country’s rural regions. A total of 119 “yes” votes from the House of Representatives led to the law’s adoption; 48 voted against the measure.

Morocco joined a growing list of African countries that have legalized medical cannabis, including Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe.