Yo, peep this. Mohamed El Guerrouj, my man, has been holdin’ it down as the interim director for the Morocco National Agency for Regulating Cannabis Related Activities (ANRAC) for a minute now. But check this, just recently, Moroccan King Mohammed VI hit him up and granted him the title of general director. Talk about movin’ on up!
According to Morocco World News, this announcement went down on October 19th during a council of ministers meeting where they were talkin’ about the Morocco 2024 Finance Bill, international agreements, and all that important stuff. Look at my man El Guerrouj, gettin’ recognized by the big boss himself.
Now, let me tell you a lil’ somethin’ about El Guerrouj. Dude’s got some serious experience in agriculture and development. He went to the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine in Rabat and even studied at the National Institute of Agronomy in Paris-Grignon, France. This guy’s got knowledge comin’ outta his ears.
But that ain’t all. Homie’s had a whole career before he even got into the cannabis game. Back in ’91, he was the deputy director of the technical department at some fancy-sounding corporation called SOGETA. Then he worked his way up through the ranks, holdin’ positions like Ministry of Agriculture, Provincial Director of Agriculture, Chief of Cabinet, and Director-General of the Agency for Agricultural Development. This guy’s been hustlin’ hard.
But now, my boy El Guerrouj is ready to take ANRAC to new heights. You see, the Moroccan Parliament passed Law 13-21 back in 2021 to legalize medical cannabis. And that’s when ANRAC was born. They’re here to regulate everything in the cannabis industry, from cultivation to marketing to manufacturing. They’re doin’ it all.
By October 2022, ANRAC was already makin’ moves. They issued the first 10 cannabis production permits and even gave the green light for companies to start sellin’ and exportin’ cannabis derivatives for medical and industrial purposes. You know they mean business when they’re lettin’ agricultural collectives get in on the action.
But let’s not forget about the not-so-legal side of things. In December 2022, the cops busted a drug trafficking operation and found over two tons of illegal cannabis. That’s a whole lotta weed, my friend. But hey, at least it was a decrease from the amount they seized in 2020. Gotta look on the bright side, right?
And check this out, in March of this year, Morocco announced that they’re buildin’ their very first testing lab for cannabis. It’s called Bio Cannat, and it’s gonna make sure all that legal weed is up to par. ANRAC gave Bio Cannat one of the first permits, so you know they’re serious about quality control.
But here’s the thing, Morocco has a long history with cannabis. It’s been growin’ in the Moroccan Rif mountains for ages. Some say it was brought over by Arab conquerors way back in the 10th century. Others think it might’ve come with pilgrims or African slaves. Either way, cannabis has been a part of Moroccan culture for a minute.
In the 1960s, they started bringin’ in hashish seeds from Lebanon and learnin’ new techniques like sievin’. And by the ’80s, they were mixin’ it up with some Lebanese strains to make those Moroccan buds even better. It’s like they were studyin’ for a Ph.D. in growin’ weed or somethin’.
But here’s the twist. Even though cannabis cultivation was banned in Morocco after they got their independence in 1956, people in the Rif mountains kept on growin’ it. Turns out, that region is one of the top producers of cannabis resin in the whole world. They just couldn’t give it up.
Now, with ANRAC in charge, things are changin’. They’re tryin’ to bring all those illegal growers into the legal market. But not everyone’s down for that. Some cultivators are like, “I’mma do me, whether it’s legal or not.” And who can blame ’em? Cannabis has been their livelihood for years.
So there you have it, my friends. El Guerrouj is takin’ charge of ANRAC and leadin’ the way in Morocco’s cannabis industry. It’s a bold move, but someone’s gotta do it. Let’s see what the future holds for these ganja pioneers.