Albanian parliamentarians last Friday approved a law legalizing the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. Albania’s parliament passed the law with 69 votes in favor to 23 against, allowing limited and controlled cannabis production. The decision was met with vehement opposition from the opposition.
If you want to read more about the legalization of medical cannabis cultivation in Albania and find the most important cannabis news of the day, download for free the Hemp.im mobile app.
It is unclear how medical cannabis will be regulated, but the government believes that allowing cannabis production could increase tax revenues
As the Associated Press notes, the passage of this law is unusual given Albania’s history as a “European hub for the cannabis trade.” Historically, cannabis cultivation flourished in Albania as drug traffickers took advantage of the post-communist country’s lack of a strong government.
After coming to power in 2013, the leftist Socialist Party government led by Prime Minister Edi Rama made eradicating hemp cultivation a major goal. According to the Associated Press, in the following two years, the government destroyed millions of hemp plants with an estimated market value of €7 billion ($8.5 billion), accounting for more than two-thirds of the country’s annual GDP.
In 2014, a police officer was fatally shot during an anti-drug operation conducted in a southern village using armored personnel carriers. The police suffered gunfire from automatic rifles and rocket launchers from drug producers. Albania remains one of the main corridors for smuggling hard drugs. Police still suppress isolated cases of cannabis cultivation, but much less frequently than a decade ago.
Legalization of medical cannabis in Albania
Albanian legislators began working on legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes last year, creating a draft law. However, the initial draft was vague and did not specify exactly how the new program related to the medical use of cannabis would be regulated.
“The purpose of this law is to establish rules for the cultivation, production, and controlled marketing of the hemp plant and its derivatives, for medical and industrial purposes, through licensed entities and under the supervision of the National Agency for the Control and Supervision of the Cultivation and Processing of Hemp Plants for Medical and Industrial Purposes and the Production of its Derivatives,” the bill proclaimed.
With the passage of the bill this week, it seems that not much has changed. How to regulate the medical use of hemp is still unclear, but the government believes that allowing limited hemp production could increase the country’s fiscal revenue.
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First published in Fakty Konopne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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