Another Country Explores Medical Marijuana Legalization

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Moroccan lawmakers held a hearing this week focused on the cultivation of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes, starting the first serious discussion in the country about relaxing marijuana laws.

The talks are aimed at determining whether Morocco can create an economy around the plant.

Morocco is the latest country outside the US to look into loosening cannabis laws. Last month, the Czech Republic authorized its first license to import medical marijuana. In October, Switzerland voted to decriminalize cannabis possession and Romania voted to allow patients access to medical marijuana.

Additionally, Uruguay is on the verge of legalizing marijuana for adult use, which would make it the first country in the world to do so.

If the trend continues, US cannabusinesses will be able to tap a sizable international market.

Unlike many of the countries easing up on marijuana, Morocco already has a sizable cannabis cultivation economy; one which exists despite laws banning it. Cannabis is grown in large quantities in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco, and approximately 760,000 locals make their living from its production.

The country is currently one of the top exporters of marijuana, and reord amounts of Moroccan hashish were seized in Spain earlier this year.

Lawmakers will see if legalizing cannabis production would benefit the poor farmers in the Rif Mountains region. Currently, illegal traffickers make most of the profits from cannabis cultivation.