Is Lebanon's legalisation of cannabis an economic lifeline or an opportunity for corruption?

The plan's popularity among MPs and elites could be based on the potential for a few to make their millions, rather than a widespread cross-societal financial gain
Middle East Monitor
Friday, May 1, 2020

lebanon cannabis harvestLebanon last week legalised the cultivation and export of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes. The move is intended to provide an economic stimulus for the country's ailing economy, at least that's the stated aim. Legalisation of the industry in a country which is the world's third largest producer of cannabis, according to the UN Office on Drugs Crime (UNODC), was advocated as a financial rescue plan as early as 2018 in a report by McKinsey & Co, commissioned by the Lebanese government to set out a five-year plan to rescue the economy. Successive Lebanese governments have moved towards legalisation of cannabis, reasoning that the financial benefits outweigh moral objections. Will, though, the industry become an economic lifeline, or simply another opportunity for corruption?