Albania, once haven of illicit cannabis, set to legalise crop for medical use

Albania holds a parliamentary election next year, and the idea of regularising a potential source of jobs and money could be a vote-winner
Reuters (UK)
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Albaniaalbania cannabis eradication2 plans to legalise the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, six years after beginning a crackdown on an illegal trade that turned it, by some accounts, into Europe’s largest outdoor grower of cannabis. Prime Minister Edi Rama said the time was ripe for one of Europe’s poorest countries to enter the lucrative market, emulating its neighbours North Macedonia, Greece and Italy - the latter a destination of tonnes of cannabis from Albania. “Illegal cultivation is completely under control,” Rama said. “This is the third or fourth year of consolidation. We plan to pass the bill in this session of parliament.” Villagers were asking for a full amnesty for those convicted on cannabis charges - not merely the amnesty for dodging tax on illicit earnings that Rama is proposing in addition to the legalisation.