A Lebanese minister hinted that marijuana could bring a major boost to Lebanon’s economy, and stand out as “among the best in the world,” Bloomberg News reported.
Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury said marijuana, which is illegal in Lebanon, could diversify the economy and open new markets.
“The quality (of cannabis) we have is one of the best in the world,” Khoury told Bloomberg News, adding that marijuana could become a one-billion-dollar industry.
In a plan to help grow Lebanon’s economy, the New York-based consulting firm McKinsey & Company suggested “quick wins” to help the country in the short term.
The plan reportedly included investing in prefabricated housing for reconstruction in Iraq and Syria, investing in tourism and growing two crops — avocados and cannabis.
Khoury said implementing the McKinsey & Company report would substantially help Lebanon’s economy, which is the third most-indebted nation in the world.
He believes Lebanon, which has marijuana farms in the Bekaa Valley, could legalize the growing and exporting of the drug for medical treatment.
Khoury is not the first minister to stand by the legalization of marijuana. In 2015, former minister Walid Jumblatt suggested the economic impact would be significant for the region.
“Never in my life have I smoked marijuana, but I support growing cannabis for medical use and to improve the living conditions of farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley,” Jumblatt previously told Al-Jadeed television.