Lobbyists in Lebanon want medical cannabis cultivation law to be effectuated

Lobbyists+in+Lebanon+want+medical+cannabis+cultivation+law+to+be+effectuated

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On April 20, 2020, a law to allow medical cannabis cultivation, use, research and sales across the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon was approved by the Lebanese Parliament. 

For many years, controversy and debate has slowed down the process of cannabis reform in Lebanon. Fortunately, the new law’s passing suggests that the Syria-bordered country could soon be reaping a healthy financial harvest from legalization.

Based on the details of Lebanon’s medical cannabis law, all cannabis-focused operations would be overseen and regulated by the Regulatory Authority for the Cultivation of Cannabis Plants for Medical and Industrial Use.

Despite its formation following the law’s passing last year, the Authority’s status remains dormant. Because of this, no license applications have been approved just yet.

Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture says cannabis cultivation will be implemented soon

Although Lebanon’s medical cannabis cultivation law was passed on April 20, 2020, its implementation is yet to take place. Nonetheless, the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture affirms that the country will soon begin capitalizing on the green plant’s agricultural potential.

“Today I would like to talk about Lebanon as a whole and the Baalbek-Hermel region and the Bekaa in particular, which is the subject of cannabis and is central and essential today for many reasons; we all know that the law exists and is approved, and therefore we await the executive decrees of the cabinet,” said the Lebanese Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Abbas Al-Hajj Hassan.

Minister Hassan believes that cultivation will effectively “save the Lebanese economy and the deprived areas of Kekar and Baalbek-Hermel.” Consequently, the Minister of Agriculture feels that the legalization of cannabis legalization in Lebanon will “have internal and external positives, but the interior positive is the revitalization of the region”. 

He went on to say that Prime Minister Najib Mikati vowed to make positive changes through medical cannabis legalization and has already “begun communicating with the ministries concerned, so that the law can be implemented.”  

“The cultivation of cannabis will take us [Lebanon] far and will be presented at the international stage as an auxiliary solution on the subject of global health security, and we [Lebanon] will be strongly present in the international stage as a country that helps the international community in this context,” he concluded.

Cannabis reform in Lebanon could help the Middle Eastern country to financially prosper

Over the course of the last year, Lebanon has witnessed some catastrophic scenes caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Based on official statistics, the virus has, in total, affected over 650,000 Lebanese people. As a direct implication of this, the nation’s health and resources have taken a huge hit.

Because of the detrimental impact that COVID-19 has had on the Lebanese people and the nation’s economy, cannabis reform couldn’t have come at a better time. 

When medicinal-grade cannabis is legalized and regulated in Lebanon, the nation will be able to capitalize on the financial abundance legal cannabis production can bring. 

Not only this, but cannabis cultivation in Lebanon could provide the local people with greater access to the plant, which has been proven to possess therapeutic potential.

To put into perspective the sheer value that the state’s cannabis market can bring, get this: a 1,200-acre region in the Bekaa Valley renowned for hashish production called “Baabalk-Hermel” sells some of the world’s best-quality cannabis for $10,000 per plant.