You might not know it, but one of the hot spots for marijuana growth is actually Lebanon. The Western Asian country, bordering Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, grew so much cannabis that international consulting firm McKinsey and Company recommended that it be legalised as a way to boost the country’s economy. Lebanon is one of the top five countries to produce cannabis resin—hashish.
For many years, farmers fought the government to be able to grow their crops. With the problems in Syria, the government couldn’t both protect its border and destroy the crops. Since then, the crops have grown so much that the government is now taking note. Cannabis could be the third most valuable export for the country. Now, after years of fighting farmers and destroying their crops, the government needs these same people to build a legitimate industry.
Not only does the Lebanese government face the challenge of working with a group of farmers that doesn’t trust them, they also have to fight against the corruption of their own officials. Many have made and continue to make fortunes off of its illegal trade.
Hashish could be the answer to many of Lebanon’s financial challenges, if they can get past their own barriers.