Morocco to Create Agency to Regulate Legal Cannabis

Morocco’s national regulatory agency overseeing the use of cannabis for medical use met for the first time on Thursday in one of the final stages before legalization at the world’s top producer of cannabis resin.

Morocco, the world’s largest producer of cannabis resin according to the UN, adopted a law in 2021 authorizing “the legal uses of medical, cosmetic and industrial cannabis”.

For its first meeting, under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, the board of directors of the “National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabic Activities” (ANRAC) approved its organization chart and budget for the year 2022.

This public structure is responsible for controlling all stages of the production chain, from the import of seeds and the certification of plants to the marketing of cannabis products.

Its action plan provides in particular for the forthcoming launch of approval procedures for national and international operators in the legal cannabis industry.

The agency will also have to set up the first processing and manufacturing cooperatives, made up exclusively of local producers.

The last six technical decrees necessary for the application of the law were published on Thursday in the official journal, an interior ministry spokesman told AFP.

– Recreational cannabis still prohibited –

In March, the government had fixed the authorized areas for the cultivation, production and exploitation of cannabis, namely the provinces of Al Hoceima, Chefchaouen and Taounate, located in the Rif, a mountainous and disadvantaged region.

Cultivated traditionally for centuries, authorized under the French protectorate, banned in 1954 but tolerated since, the “kif” supports at least 60,000 families on 55,000 hectares, according to official figures for 2019.

Other provinces could be added “depending on the interest shown by national and international investors in activities related to the cannabis production chain”, according to the Ministry of Interior.

This legal framework aims to allow the State to develop a lucrative culture currently in the hands of traffickers.

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