Over three tonnes of cannabis seized off Morocco coast

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Moroccan authorities have seized more than three tonnes of cannabis resin in two speed boats off the northeastern coast bordering the Spanish enclave of Melilla, state media reported Saturday.

“The operation resulted in the seizing of two go-fast boats... with 85 bales of chira (cannabis resin) weighing a total of more than three tonnes,” a military source was quoted as saying by the official MAP news agency.

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The cargo was seized on Friday off the town of Nador after the boats did not respond to naval orders, sparking a chase, it added.

Nador is located near the mountainous Rif region, known as a key zone for cannabis farming in Morocco – the world’s largest producer of cannabis resin according to the United Nations.

Moroccan police seized nearly 100 tonnes of the narcotic in 2022, about half the amount seized the previous year, according to annual figures from the DGSN security service.

Morocco in 2021 ordered the legalization of the use of “medical, cosmetic and industrial cannabis.”

The move sought to regulate the production of the substance – which employs thousands of families in the country – without destroying the livelihoods of local cultivators.

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