Will Albania soon legalize medical cannabis?
The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced yesterday, May 12th, 2020, that medical cannabis will soon be legalized in the country. After having announced the failure of illicit cultivation operations by sending the police force, the authorities are now looking into the financial windfall of legal and taxed cannabis. There is also talk of granting amnesty for current convictions in this regard.
The world may not have an extensive general European culture, but all we seem to have left after years of republican schooling about Albania is: don’t go there. Generally speaking, this is what the Express website said about the country two years ago: “Mountainous and rural, Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The high unemployment rate explains why it is also one of the countries with the highest emigration rates on the continent. Having emerged from the most closed communist regime in 1991, Albania lost part of its population after it was opened up.”
More recently, the same newspaper still informs that the situation has not improved. Since the fall of the dictatorship in 1991, the exodus has spread to a part of the population confronted with unemployment, poverty, corruption, and organized crime.
The latest diplomatic initiative to date was the then Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb, who went to Tirana, the capital of Albania, in 2017 to talk about immigration control.
If you want to find more about the possible legalization of cannabis in Albania, and to read the most important cannabis news, download the hemp.im mobile app.
An overview of the cannabis sector in Albania
The small country on the verge of underdevelopment, is one of the main producers and exporters of cannabis in Europe.
According to Reporterre, almost half of Albania’s GDP is derived from cannabis production. Furthermore, according to Europol and the American intelligence services, Albania is even number one by far.
To put it simply, if you were to take just one figure: 1/3 of Albania’s GDP would come from the illegal production of cannabis. For example, 1/3 of France’s GDP would imply an annual turnover of $972 billion (€900 billion) in the country. However, when it comes to illegal cannabis, the dimension can’t really be measured.
900 tons of cannabis a year are produced in Albania. To visualize the epic figure that this represents, take as a comparison, the total of Moroccan hashish produced for Europe which is around 350 tons per year according to the ODT. Albania would thus be made the first producer of illegal cannabis in the world. And this country is about to legalize ‘medical’ cannabis just like that.
Cannabis use, production or sale is prohibited in Albania
The use, production, transport and sale of cannabis are prohibited in Albania, but it has become the favorite sport of the criminal organizations that nowadays are involved in the drug trade. There is talk of entire villages dedicated to clandestine cultivation.
The closest neighbors have ended up being overwhelmed by successive waves of cannabis exports to their territory. Consequently, in 2016, Italians had sent Carabinieri as reinforcements to help the Albanian government in its fight against cannabis. Reporterre reported at that time, the staggering sum of 2.5 million cannabis plants destroyed by the De Finanze Brigade.
However, by early 2017: “Europol and the U.S. State Department still refer to Albania as the ‘leading producer country in Europe’ according to Reporterre.
The Albanian Prime Minister was a basketball player, then a painter-sculptor, member of the Albanian socialist party, and at first became Minister of Culture. Edi Rama is perfectly French-speaking and lived in Paris for a few years. He recently said via the Thomson Reuters Foundation that: “Illegal culture is now completely under control. We are entering the third of four years of consolidation with this situation.”
A statement that was immediately contradicted by the Albanian General Prosecutor, Olsian Çela, who said in a report to parliament : “We have noticed an increase in narcotics in Kruja, Vlora, Gjirokastra and Shkodra. According to the analysis I conducted in the neighborhoods, I asked prosecutors to identify those who had not been identified. So the real problem is why we have growing trends.”
To close this chapter with a very revealing piece of information about the climate in this country: 64 members of an international Albanian criminal organization have just been arrested by Interpol. None of them have been arrested in Albania.
Medical cannabis to be soon legalized
No one knows anything about the bill to legalize medical cannabis yet. In brief terms, the Albanian Prime Minister spoke at a public meeting with the Ambassador of the European Parliament, Luigi Soreca.
Therefore, nothing is known about the Albanian ‘medical’ program, nor about the conditions of production or processing. Nothing either about the medical conditions that will be used for the delivery of prescriptions, the training of doctors, and so on.
Never before has the designation medical cannabis been so vague and perhaps who knows: overused?
In fact, the only information that was released by Rama was a more or less accurate story from Amnesty Taxation, which would accompany the measure. Perhaps to clear a certain number of now clandestine operators through customs. Clearly Albania has decided to legalize and tax medical cannabis. This legally opens the doors to the European market.
Given that operators will certainly emerge from the grey zone, not to say from the black market and dubious organizations. The Albanian government is simply proposing to amnesty what was not collected at the time of prohibition in order to tax it legally today.
(Featured image by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay)
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
First published in Le Cannabiste, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.
The TopRanked.io Weekly Digest: What’s Hot in Affiliate Marketing [Week 12]
Empires come in all shapes and sizes, from small upstart affiliate businesses right through to world-dominating empires like TikTok. And...
Green Technologies: Why Southeast Asia is the New Global Investment Frontier
According to a report by the United Nations Environment Program, annual green funding flows in Southeast Asia have been estimated...
Eniax Signs Cerba, Analiza, and Oftalvist as Clients and Aims for 1M in Sales in 2023
Eniax also works with some medical centers in Spain, such as the HLA Moncloa University Hospital in Madrid, from Grupo...
GreenIT and Copenhagen Infrastructure to Develop Three 2 GW Offshore Wind Farms
GreenIT was established in March 2021 and is dedicated to the development, construction, and operation of plants for the production...
Concrete Investing Launches €4.75 Million Crowdfunding Campaign
Concrete Investing has financed 24 real estate transactions to date in four years of activity, with about €46 million raised,...
Africa4 days ago
Climate Finance: The NGO Wep-Burkina Trains about 30 Women
Featured2 weeks ago
The SVB Bank Collapse May Only Be the Tip of the Iceberg
Cannabis2 days ago
Trichome Pharma Prepares a Greenhouse in Andalusia to Grow Medical Cannabis
Business1 week ago
No Major Spanish Bank Was Affected by Credit Suisse’s Collapse