The legalization of cannabis in Morocco will be managed by an agency «supervised by the State»

The legislative framework for the legalization of cannabis cultivation is ready. The Ministry of the Interior, which drafted the bill, intends to create an Agency, placed under «the supervision of the State».

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Morocco wants to catch up with countries that have legalized the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic purposes and benefit from the financial revenues it could bring. This objective is mentioned in the preamble of bill 13-21 drafted by the Interior Ministry.

The global medical cannabis market «has undergone significant changes». The average annual growth, according to some forecasts, «is 30% internationally and 60% in Europe», reads the document. A growth that several countries try to benefit from, including Canada, Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

To make the first step in this market, it is important to set up the appropriate legislative framework for legalization, sanctions, and licenses. This is the mission that the Ministry wishes to entrust to the National Regulatory Agency for activities related to cannabis. A body that will have to supervise the whole process from cultivation to import and export, indicates article 3 of the bill.

Legalization does not automatically mean a generalization of the cultivation of kif throughout the territory, warns article 4. After the publication of the draft law in the Official Bulletin, a ministerial decree will identify the areas where this activity will take place, based on authorizations granted by said Agency.

An Agency «placed under the supervision of the State»

The government’s initiative will also give the right to farmers to form cooperatives and to conclude agreements for the sale of crops with companies under Moroccan law for the industrial processing of cannabis and for export, indicates article 10. These companies will have to follow the clauses signed with the Agency, including the standards to be observed during storage, transport and monitoring of product quality.

Bill 13-21 also devotes articles to the legalization body. The National Agency for the regulation of cannabis-related activities will be a public establishment located in Rabat. It will be able to open regional offices in certain regions. It will be «placed under the tutelage of the State», announces article 32, and managed by a board of directors with a general manager. 

The bill also refers to sanctions, for example a sentence of 3 months to two years in prison and a fine between 5,000 and 100,000 dirhams will be given to offenders under the conditions established by the Agency.

The examination of this text comes as Morocco prepares to organize municipal, regional, legislative and House of Councilors elections. The Authenticity and Modernity Party and the Istiqlal are the great defenders of the legalization of cannabis cultivation, especially in the northern and northeastern regions of the kingdom. On the other hand, the PJD has always opposed such an operation.

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