Skip to main content

Morocco reveals official logo for local cannabis exports

Morocco reveals official logo for local cannabis as export market takes root
3 min read
11 April, 2024
Since legalising cannabis in 2021, Rabat has vowed to end the illicit trade in cooperation with local farmers and pharma companies.
Morocco is most known for its one-of-a-kind Beldiya strain [Getty]

Morocco unveiled the official logo for legal cannabis products that it will export as the North African Kingdom embarks on a journey to tap into the lucrative global cannabis market.

The recent issue of the official bulletin announced that a red frame with the cannabis plant symbol at its centre, representing the country's flag design, will be the emblem for Moroccan cannabis products.

Earlier this month, Morocco exported its first batch of cannabis to Europe, three years after legalising the plant.

Local media reported that "on April 9, two cooperatives approved by the National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis Activities (ANRAC) exported 3 kg of products". 

This shipment constitutes a coordinated test dispatch by ANRAC to determine suitable export logistics for the sector.

According to sources cited by local media outlet Medias24, the first batch will be used in the healthcare industries in Switzerland or the composition of dietary supplements in various European countries.

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

The United Nations drugs agency says about 47,000 hectares of the Rif region are devoted to cannabis output.

Even before the legalisation, Morocco was one the world's leading producer of hashish and the top exporter to Europe, according to the United Nations,

Live Story

For decades, Moroccan cannabis has made its way to Europe by mules, small trucks, or Zodiac boats. And while sparking up a joint is a crime in the country — punished by up to one year in prison — it became a tolerated scene in the hip cafes of Morocco.

Exact figures haven't been recorded since the early 2000s when the country took measures to restrict cannabis farming in the wake of a series of suicide bombings in the Rif.

The first legal cannabis harvest in 2023, under the auspices of ANRAC, is estimated at 294 tonnes.

The harvest was made by 32 cooperatives that brought together 430 farmers covering 277 hectares in the northern Rif mountain areas of Al Houceima, Taounat, and Chefchaouen.

Live Story

Morocco is most known for its one-of-a-kind "Beldiya" strain.

With its light, fruity flavour, a fragrance similar to incense, and lower level of THC — the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the "high" — Beldiya has become over the years weed enthusiasts' favourite and the international obsession of researchers who study planting the Rifian strain outside the kingdom.

Rabat's vision is to capitalise on the country's potential and transform it from illicit trade into a sleek and streamlined operation in cooperation with farmers and pharma companies.

Three years into its experience — the first of its kind in North Africa — Rabat is already facing bumps and doubts, namely farmers' mistrust and dissatisfaction with the legalisation process and the persistent demand for recreational cannabis.

Drug policy experts expect the coexistence between the legal and the illicit market as long as Rabat shy away from a full legalisation of the plant.