Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury called to legalize and grow cannabis instead of the failing tobacco crops. Khoury, interviewed on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV on July 13, said that the legalization of cannabis and its growth for medicinal purposes would yield hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues. "The Beqaa region, which suffers from great problems, could be revived this way," he said.
Raed Khoury: "There are types of crops that we should grow."
Host: "Like what?"
Raed Khoury: "Like growing cannabis. How come it is illegal to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes? Allah has blessed us with land that can produce the best quality of that plant. Today, they produce oil out of it, and it is in demand all over the world. If we develop and legalize this type of agriculture – with limits, because we wouldn't want it to get out of hand – it will be able to replace tobacco. Lebanon incurs losses on its tobacco crops. Everybody loses, and nobody profits. The tobacco growers incur losses, and so does the state when it supports the farmers. We can replace the losing tobacco with cannabis, produce that oil, and sell it to countries that turn it into medicine."
Host: "Will the legalization of cannabis yield revenues?"
Raed Khoury: "Great revenues. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. The Beqaa region, which suffers from great problems, could be revived this way."