Morocco has a legal framework in tune with national and international developments

Adopted in July 2021, Law No. 13-21 relating to the legal uses of cannabis was a real revolution insofar as this text made it possible to provide the Kingdom with a legal framework in tune with national and international developments.

This law thus clarifies the legal framework for the cultivation of this plant with medicinal and therapeutic potential, by setting, subject to Morocco’s international commitments, the conditions for cultivation, production, processing, manufacturing, marketing, the transportation and export of cannabis and its products and the export and import of its seeds and plants, the import of its products and the creation and operation of its nurseries.

It also intervenes within the framework of the positive interaction with data and developments relating to the legal use of cannabis on an international scale.

The law is also in line with the recommendations of the special commission on the development model which had proposed in its report to clarify the legal framework of this culture and to develop a support ecosystem, able to promote it in a controlled framework.

The text was adopted in the wake of positive interaction by several countries in this area. These States have, in fact, changed their approaches to cannabis, through mechanisms aimed at regulating its cultivation, its ways of transformation and its legal use.

It relied on existing data in international law relating to the use of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes, in particular after the approval of the reclassification of cannabis by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which recognized its medical and therapeutic utility, as well as in the various uses associated with the fields of cosmetics, industry and agriculture.

In order to deal with any illegal use of cannabis and to regulate its legal use, the law provides for the creation of a governance mechanism, namely the National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis-Related Activities (ANRAC), which ensures the implementation of the State strategy in the field of cultivation, production, manufacture, processing, marketing, export of cannabis and import of its products for medical, pharmaceutical and industrial purposes.

To this end, the Agency is responsible for several missions, including the granting, renewal and withdrawal of authorizations.

The Agency also oversees the application of the provisions of Law 13.21, in coordination with the competent public authorities. It must monitor the traceability of cannabis during all stages of its production, processing, manufacturing, marketing and export and import of its products, in particular in order to ensure that it is not used in an illicit activity and that illicitly produced cannabis is not used in lawful activities.

It should be noted that the legal use of cannabis is framed by an important legal arsenal, namely Law 13.21, two decrees: Decree No. 2.21.642 relating to the composition of the Board of Directors of the Agency and Decree No. ° 2.22.159 taken for the application of certain provisions of Law No. 13.21 relating to the legal uses of cannabis, in particular those relating to the perimeter dedicated to the cultivation and production of cannabis, as well as six decrees which will see the light of day very shortly.

These decrees relate to the procedures for issuing authorizations to exercise cannabis-related activities, the model registers and the procedures for keeping them by ANRAC and by the holders of authorizations to exercise cannabis-related activities and to the terms and conditions of certification of cannabis seeds and plants by the Agency.

They also relate to the models of contract for the sale of cannabis crops, the minutes of delivery of said crops and the minutes of destruction of surplus production of cannabis, its seeds, its plants, its harvests and its products.

These are also the THC levels provided for in Articles 6 and 17 of Law 13.21 on the legal uses of cannabis, relating to the minimum level above which respectively varieties of cannabis plants and products made from cannabis are intended exclusively for medical use, as well as procedures for reporting damage or loss that may occur to cannabis crops.

Thanks to the establishment of this legal framework, Morocco is thus positioning itself in tune with the positive developments linked to this plant, especially since the Kingdom has adopted the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the National Commission narcotics relating to the reclassification of cannabis outside the table of drugs with extremely dangerous properties and low medicinal and therapeutic potential.

Law 13.21 thus aligns with the United Nations decision to change the classification of cannabis, which is no longer considered a dangerous and addictive narcotic, but a plant with medicinal and therapeutic potential. However, the recreational use of cannabis remains prohibited.

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