The Turkish government has legalized medical cannabis production in 19 of its 81 provinces, but the step forward is quite tentative and has a lot of strings attached.
According to Britain’s Independent newspaper, the move by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock is intended to combat the black market. But many specifics are unclear.
For example, the outlet reported that the regulations, titled “Hemp Cultivation and Control of Regulations” and printed in the Official Gazette last month, limit production to “medical and scientific purposes.” But the Independent didn’t mention whether that production includes medical marijuana distribution to patients or is only for research.
Would-be Turkish growers must apply to the government for permission to cultivate cannabis. Initially, such permission will be granted only for a three-year trial period. To obtain a cultivation permit, growers have to provide a warrant as evidence they have not been involved in illegal drug trafficking.
Growers will also be required to “dispose of all parts of the cannabis plant after the harvest period” to prevent black market diversion, but it’s unclear what will be done with the parts that are used.
Turkey is the latest in a string of countries across the globe to relax cannabis laws, joining such nations as Holland, Jamaica, Canada, the Czech Republic and Chile, among others.