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Lebanon Passes Historic Cannabis Reform Measure

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When it comes to cannabis reform, the Middle East is one of the toughest places to achieve a cannabis reform victory. The region is notoriously conservative when it comes to cannabis policy.

However, a significant victory occurred this week in Lebanon, where lawmakers passed a first-of-its-kind for the region cannabis reform measure. Per Al-Monitor:

Lebanon became the first Arab country to legalize cannabis farming in the hopes that sales from the plant will provide some relief to its debt-ridden economy.

Despite pushback from the Shiite Islamist group Hezbollah, the Lebanese parliament passed legislation legalizing marijuana cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes. Recreational use of marijuana will remain illegal.

Estimates put the potential for Lebanon’s cannabis industry at roughly 1 billion dollars. For a country as poor as Lebanon, that amount of money would be a gamechanger.

According to the United Nations, Lebanon produces more ‘cannabis resin’ than any other country on earth other than Morocco and Afganistan, so it’s not as if the country is new to the cannabis trade. The new law will help members of Lebanon’s cannabis industry conduct their business legally.

It will be very interesting to see if other countries in the region follow Lebanon’s lead. The entire region is in desperate need of cannabis reform.