It looks like the Taliban is slowly relaxing their strict cannabis laws, and for a good purpose. A Taliban spokesperson wrote a tweet that notes the group’s latest deal with an Australian pharmaceutical company.
Now, Cpharm and the Taliban have signed a deal for $450 million that will establish a cannabis processing center in the heart of Afghanistan, reports Al Arabiya. The contract was signed last week, and we should expect to see operations begin within a few days, said Taliban Press Director, Quar Saeed Khosty to Al Arabiya.
According to the Pajwok Afgan News Agency, a representative from the Australian Cpharm company met with Afghanistan’s deputy narcotic minister on Tuesday to discuss the new cannabis processing center. But, things aren’t too clear since Cpharm denied to respond to Al Arabiya’s request to comment on the situation.
However, Al Arabiya reported that Saeed Khosty said the company would be given “thousands of acres of Afgan cannabis cropland.” Cpharm currently produces and manufactures medical cannabis creams, and they’re optimistic about expanding ventures into Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban took complete control of Afghanistan in August, the group has prioritized enforcing strict laws regarding cannabis production. Al Arabiya notes that last month, a Taliban governor of Kandahar named Yussef Wafa said the group has been arresting drug users and had strict laws to refrain from letting farmers grow cannabis or opium poppies.
Farmers have reported that they haven’t seen much change in terms of the group’s attitude towards cannabis farming and production, allowing them to continue operations discreetly. With the new cannabis processing center, farmers hope that the Taliban will continue to relax laws and use their cannabis for effective testing and trials.
When right-wing extremists were operating as an insurgency group under the US-led occupation of Afghanistan, the country’s economy was reliant on cannabis and opium crops for the significant source of revenue generated. Now that Afghanistan’s first cannabis process center is about to take effect, the country is hopeful that it will begin to find ways to generate revenue with the plant even further.