By Roland Sebestyén
Last month, Morocco’s government revealed that it would debate a bill that was intended to legalise the medical use of cannabis this week. However, it has now been announced that the government council of the North African country would postpone the discussion.
According to Morocco World News, Morocco lawmakers were on track to legalise medical cannabis and build an industry around the drug. The plans would have seen local farmers form “cooperatives” who could sell their products to international businesses.
However, the government is yet to set a new date for the debate on bill 13-21. It is now reported that the council has temporarily postponed the debate on the bill that would have effectively legalised cannabis for medical and therapeutical use in Morocco.
The draft bill reportedly included an estimation by the government that the illegal cannabis trade in the country is worth up to $15 billion. This estimation is almost double a previous estimation by the BBC – $8 billion.
Fears that the majority of this money ends up in the pockets of drug traffickers and organised criminals have spurred recent moves for reform in the country. The paper says “under the current illegal status of cannabis, farmers earn a combined half a billion dollars, while drug traffickers earn nearly $14.5 billion.”
If and when the bill is passed, farmers will have to apply for a license in order to take part in the scheme. There would also be a range of other guidelines and requirements for applicants looking to take part in the new medical cannabis industry.
As Morocco World News says, the drug has been seen as taboo for a very long time in the country, but “Morocco first indicated its newfound perspective on cannabis at the UN on December 2.
The country’s government voted “in favour of reclassifying cannabis on the international level to emphasise the plant’s medicinal qualities.”
With this vote, Morocco decided to step into the medical cannabis market once and for all. However, it seems as though the cabinet needs some time to discuss the proposition before real change happens.