Moroccan state agency, the Cannabis Activities Regulatory Agency (ANRAC) has issued the first 10 permits for manufacturing and processing cannabis in Morocco.
The agency said farmers who organise into cooperatives in the northern mountain areas of Al Houceima, Taounat and Chefchaouen will be gradually allowed to grow cannabis to meet the needs of the legal market, Reuters reports.
Cannabis is already widely cultivated in Morocco illegally and the new law, passed by the parliament last year, does not permit its use for recreation.
The law is intended to improve farmers’ incomes and protect them from drug traffickers who control the cannabis trade and export it illegally to Europe.
The agency will also grant permission to market and export cannabis and its derivatives for medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial purposes.
A statement issued by ANRAC on October 4 said the measure is part of the execution of Law 13-21 on the legal uses of cannabis.
Following the issuance of the first batch of authorisations, ANRAC will begin authorising farmers to legally cultivate and produce cannabis within a tightly regulated framework of agricultural cooperatives.