Lebanon's cannabis heartland, Bekaa, hopes for legalization

Legalization seems to have gained traction after consulting firm McKinsey & Co. included it among its suggestions in a government-commissioned study on ways to boost Lebanon's economy
Associated Press (US)
Friday, July 27, 2018

The Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has long been notorious as one of the world's major cannabis-growing regions, producing some of the finest hashish. The country is the third biggest producer in the world after Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the U.N. But the valley's residents have rarely felt the benefits. Now they are hoping their work will soon become legal after decades of crackdowns and raids. This week, a draft bill was introduced in parliament that would allow cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes. The idea has fueled dreams of Lebanon raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and exports, a desperately needed source of income for a country weighed down by low growth, high unemployment and one of the heaviest debt burdens in the world.