CANNABIS ALERT: An Arab World First Is On Hand
The next frontier for pot sales could be a very unexpected place… the Middle East!
Last week, authorities in Lebanon announced they will soon review legislation to legalize medical marijuana.
That’s a big deal because of Lebanon’s demographic makeup. If the country legalizes weed for medical use, it would become the first Arab country to allow legal cannabis in any capacity.
According to online Lebanese news source Naharnet, drivers here are largely economic.
Lebanon faces public debt that’s 152% of GDP, the third-highest debt-to-GDP rate in the world. In a study commissioned by the government on how to stimulate economic growth, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. told them to legalize pot in order to add a new legal industry to the economy.
McKinsey labelled legal pot as one of a list of potential “quick wins” for Lebanon.
Lebanon is likely to be the member of the Arab League to see legalization first. Religiously and culturally, it’s a diverse place. Its capital, Beirut, used to be called “the Paris of the Middle East,” after all.
And the country already grows a significant amount of pot, albeit illegally, in eastern Lebanon.
Now a growing contingent of Lebanese politicians want to make it legal in some form.
That’s a similar message to the movement we’re seeing closer to home. Even people who aren’t otherwise big fans of pot are big fans of the tax revenues and job creation from making it legal.
Lebanon’s Trade Minister Raed Khoury said that legal pot could become a billion-dollar business in Lebanon, a country with a population the size of Maryland’s.
If a country like Lebanon can find the logic in legalizing marijuana, it’s not hard to imagine cannabis becoming legal at a federal level here at home.
In the meantime, the possibility of investment opportunities in frontier markets like Lebanon is attractive. And it’s worth noting that several Canadian pot companies have exposure to overseas markets, like Lebanon, where medical pot is starting to find legal frameworks.
The growth opportunity for the legal pot business in North America is so immense that it’s hard to imagine. Expand that growth to dozens of other countries worldwide and the opportunity becomes staggering.
We’ll see what happens with Lebanon’s pro-pot legislation when it reaches their parliament.
In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on the trends and opportunities as they unfold in the pot space.
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Chief Technology Expert, Technology Profits Daily