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Moroccan cannabis goodies set to hit shelves this summer

This summer, Morocco to allow cannabis goodies for sale as Islamist opposition fumes
MENA
3 min read
28 May, 2024
Morocco's cannabis products include CBD chocolate and snus in 10, 20 and 30-milligram tins with flavours like orange blossom, mint, and rose water.
Starting mid-June, legally produced cannabis products are expected to be available for sale in pharmacies across the Moroccan kingdom. [Getty]

This summer, cannabis-infused goodies are set to hit the shelves of the Moroccan market, including CBD-infused chocolate, candy and tea. The Islamist opposition, however, is gearing up to derail these plans.

"Starting mid-June, legally produced cannabis products are expected to be available for sale in pharmacies across the Moroccan kingdom," reported local media over the weekend.

So far, the distribution and sale of cannabis-based products will be confined to pharmacies, whether they are dietary supplements, cosmetics, or other items, "to ensure monitoring and traceability," said an official source quoted by local media Hespress.

The source did not elaborate on any conditions to restrict customers' age or medical status.

The New Arab contacted the National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis (ANRAC) for clarification. A spokesperson said this information will be available to the public "soon" as meetings regarding the marketing process of cannabis products are still ongoing.

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Will Morocco sell Cannabis-infused chocolate?

One of the most anticipated cannabis products is CBD-infused chocolate by Kyff, a company working under the Rabat-based Pharma Oksa Group.

Low in THC and rich in CBD, Kyff’s white and milk chocolate will be sold in 5-gram Napolitains (containing 22.5 milligrams of CBD) or 100-gram bars (with 10% cannabis seeds).

When a product is low in THC, users do not experience the "high" associated with higher THC levels. This makes the product suitable for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without its mind-altering effects.

Kyff will also offer CBD tea infusions and snus (a moist tobacco, typically held in the mouth between the lips and gums) in 10, 20, and 30-milligram tins with flavours like orange blossom, mint and rose water for sublingual consumption.

"The products distributed by Kyff are made from cannabis harvested in the Chefchaouen region, specifically in Beni Ahmed," according to the development management of the company.

Kyff’s products have caused quite a stir, making it to the country's parliament.

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The Justice and Development Party (PJD) — an Islamist opposition party — has requested addressing "an urgent issue that requires public awareness: marketing of drugs in the form of chocolate and its derivatives."

After criminalising cannabis farming for six decades, in May 2021, the Moroccan parliament reversed course. It passed a law legalizing the plant exclusively for pharmaceutical and industrial purposes, aiming to capitalize on the country's cannabis potential, estimated at US$15 billion.

However, the Islamist party questions whether the set-to-hit market chocolate falls into these two categories.

ANRAC, a state organisation in charge of carrying out the legalisation of the plant, does not hide its ambition to push in the next years for diverse cannabis-based products and not exclusively traditional medicines.

The idea of Moroccan cannabis-based chocolate was first suggested at the Officine Expo 2023 in Marrakech during a panel moderated by ANRAC and its partners.

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TNA reached out to Kyff, which was authorised by ANRAC earlier this year, for further details on the conditions of selling the controversial chocolate in the Moroccan market and their target customers. No one was available to address these questions.

In 2021, PJD was a majority party and played a key role in passing the cannabis legalisation despite opposition from inside the party, namely from former Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane (2012-2016) who froze his candidacy in the party in protest of the legalisation.

After they lost the elections that same year, Benkirane restored his candidacy in the party and took back the leadership of PJD.

The Islamist leader has deemed the legalisation of cannabis and the normalisation with Israel as his party's biggest mistakes during their decade of power in the North African kingdom.