Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced, Wednesday, “The Lebanese Parliament is preparing to study and adopt the legislation necessary to legislate the cultivation of cannabis and its manufacture for medical uses in the manner of many European countries and some US states.”
Berri’s announcement follows a proposal by McKinsey, a global consulting firm. Cannabis was a multimillion-dollar industry before it was criminalized. McKinsey gave Lebanese President Michel Aoun its report on boosting t Lebanese economy this month. Its contents have not been made public.
Lebanese cannabis, which is well-known for its “good quality,” was a flourishing industry during the civil war (1975-1990). After the war, the Lebanese State sought to eradicate it in favour of alternative crops. However, these promises were not kept.
The Lebanese law imprisons all those who sell cannabis. Yet it is still crown in Beqaa province. Cannabis is planted in the spring and harvested in September. It is then dried under the sun for three days before being cooled, then “hammered” or grinded.
Druze leader and MP Walid Jumblatt is a prominent advocate for legalizing cannabis. The Lebanese economy has deteriorated since 2011 due to political stalemate. The conflict in neighbouring Syria has exacerbated the economic crisis.
Lebanon ranks third on the list of the world’s most indebted countries. The country’s fiscal deficit has doubled over the past seven years from $ 2.3 billion in 2011 to $ 4.8 billion in 2018.