Morocco is joining a small group of African countries to permit the legal use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
Rabat – Morocco’s government adopted today bill 13-21, intending to legalize the production of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic use.
The Government Council adopted the bill today in its weekly meeting after a few weeks of discussion.
After the approval, Morocco will be among the first countries on the African continent to permit the use of cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes.
Observers were certain Morocco would make such a move after the country voted to remove cannabis from the list of the UN’s Schedule IV category of drugs that have limited or no therapeutic use.
The North African country was the only member of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs (NCD) in the MENA to vote in favor of the cannabis’ removal from the list of toxic substances.
Algeria, Bahrain, and Egypt all voted against the removal.
A 2019 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) identified Morocco as the world’s largest producer of cannabis.
The report found that Morocco produces over three times more than the next contender, the European country Moldova.
The production of cannabis increased from 35,653 tons in 2016 to 35,703 tons in 2017, according to the report.
The country criminalizes the use of cannabis, seizing tonnes of the drug and its derivatives on an annual basis.
In 2020, Morocco arrested 97,564 people for their alleged involvement in drug cases. The number represents a decline of 23% compared to 2019, DGSN said.
Seizures of cannabis and its derivatives increased to 217.32 tonnes. The figure represents an increase of 37 tonnes compared to 2019.