Middle East

Cultivation legalized in Lebanon: how real?

Posted on October 23rd, 2020 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastLebanon, long the Middle East's heartland of hashish, has legalized cannabis cultivation for the medical market—but before the law has even taken effect, rumblings of cynicism are heard from the country's traditional growers. The outlaw growers in the Bekaa Valley, with its centuries-long tradition of hash production, will likely remain illicit and face continued militarized enforcement—while corporate producers with state-of-the-art greenhouses on the urbanized coast dominate the industry. And the hashish market has been hard hit by the country's deep economic crisis, leaving the Bekaa cannabis farmers struggling.

Will drone-dropping cannabis push Israel to legalize?

Posted on September 7th, 2020 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael is a world leader in medical marijuana and has adopted an experimental decriminalization policy. But activists are pushing to make it the world's third country to outright legalize—and are using some very audacious tactics.

Cannabis prisoners as geopolitical pawns

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

prisonersThe global prohibition of cannabis affords the opportunity for imperial powers and authoritarian regimes to exploit those caught in the web of enforcement to advance their own political agendas. The recent case of Naama Issachar was deftly leveraged by Vladimir Putin, and could encourage other depots to similarly use pot prisoners to exact concessions from foreign governments.

Israel's political establishment embraces cannabis —even amid lurch to the right

Posted on April 25th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastTwo Israeli ex-prime ministers are now involved in the cannabis industry, and legalization became a key issue in this month's elections. But in a case of strange bedfellows, legalization was aggressively taken up as a campaign plank by the far right.

Stocks soar as Israel allows export of cannabis

Posted on February 2nd, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisIsrael's internal market for medical cannabis products is limited by the country's relatively small population, but with exports now approved by the cabinet, a multi-billion-dollar industry is foreseen. Since the announcement, share prices of cannabis companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange have soared.

Turkey's authoritarian president comes out for cannabis cultivation

Posted on January 16th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

TurkeyIn a strange paradox, Turkey's increasingly authoritarian President Erdogan has announced that he wants to expand legal cannabis cultivation in the country. His speech unveiling the proposal even portrayed the plant's prohibition as imposed by Western powers to undermine Turkish agriculture—appealing to his traditional Islamist base, with otherwise conservative instincts.

Lebanon's parliament moves to legalize medical marijuana

Posted on August 3rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Middle EastA parliamentary initiative has been launched to legalize medical marijuana cultivation in fabled hashish producer Lebanon, amid growing proposals for a general legalization of cannabis. But many growers in the Bekaa Valley are watching warily, fearing they will be left behind as foreign capital flows in for a legal industry.

Israel decriminalizes cannabis —on provisional basis

Posted on July 28th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Middle EastIsrael's Knesset overwhelmingly passed a cannabis decriminalization measure—sponsored by the ruling conservative government. This fruit of a long campaign by activists is, however, tentative. The law is set to expire in three years, pending a review of the policy's impacts.

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