Cannabis in Lebanon is illegal for personal use, its cultivation and trade are also illegal, but legal only for medical use. Large amounts of cannabis are grown within the country, especially in the Bekka Valley, and consumed for personal use in private.
The production of hashish was prohibited in Lebanon in 1926, during the era of the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon. However, the cannabis industry blossomed during the chaos of the 15-year Lebanese civil war (1975–1990).
By 2001, poverty had pressed many farmers to return to growing cannabis. By 2002, production had reached 37,000 acres: double what it was the year prior. Later on, cannabis farms flourished during the Syrian civil war starting from 2011, as the government was more concerned about security issues.
In 2018, the Parliament speaker Nabih Berry stated, "The Lebanese Parliament is preparing to study and adopt the legislation necessary to legislate the cultivation of cannabis and its manufacture for medical uses in the manner of many European countries and some US states", as he told US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard according to Lebanon's official news agency. This announcement came after the release of a five-year study by McKinsey & Company to boost economic development. With the world's third highest debt, proponents for legalization argued that fostering the marijuana industry could help to reform the country's economy. Some growers that oppose the reform, such as Abu Jafaar of the Bekka Valley (Lebanon's most well known growing area), feared that government intervention will take revenue away from them and into the hands of politicians.
On 21 April 2020, the Parliament passed a law legalizing cannabis cultivation for medical use. Lebanon became the first Arab country to do so. Cultivation of non-psychoactive hemp was also made legal.
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- Robert Connell Clarke (1998). Hashish!. Red Eye Press. ISBN 978-0-929349-05-3.
- France. Ministère des affaires étrangères (1925). ... Rapport sur la situation de la Syrie et du Liban ... Imprimerie nationale. p. 73.
Par arrêté du Haut-Commissaire en date du 8 octobre 1925, la culture du haschich, qui était particulièrement intense dans la Békaa (Grand Liban), a été interdite à compter du ier janvier 1926.
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- Réalités. Spectacle du monde. May 1996. p. 354.
Les Américains ne lâchant pas prise, le gouvernement libanais interdisait officiellement la culture du pavot et du cannabis en 1992.
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- Jason Lemon (April 21, 2020). "LEBANON PASSES LEGISLATION LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA CULTIVATION AS ECONOMY STRUGGLES AMID CORONAVIRUS FALLOUT". Newsweek.