In the largest seizure of illegal drugs in Lebanese history, security forces in March 2020 intercepted 25 metric tons of domestically produced cannabis resin destined for consumers in Africa.
Smugglers attempted to move the drugs in a convoy of eight trucks carrying bags of fertilizer, but security inspectors in the port of Beirut uncovered the scheme.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recognized Lebanese anti-narcotics success by ranking it third in the world in the amount of cannabis resin seized. The resin is the main component of hashish.
Lebanese authorities regularly destroy cannabis crops grown in the Bekaa Valley. At times, bloody confrontations erupt between the Lebanese security forces and people working in this business.
According to research and studies conducted by local and foreign anti-drug addiction organizations, the city of Baalbek and surrounding villages near the Syrian border have been the biggest center of cultivation over the past 50 years.
Lebanon’s tolerance for cannabis may be growing, however. In April 2020, the Lebanese Parliament passed legislation to legalize cannabis cultivation for medical and industrial purposes. Parliamentarians view the measure as a way to boost the country’s export economy and curb the black market for drugs. Sources: Al-Jazeera, Al Hurra, Newsweek