Hashish revival in Morocco, Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Kenza Afsahi, 2014

Hashish revival in Morocco

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Kenza Afsahi

International Journal of Drug Policy, 2014, Vol. 25, Issue 3, 416-423.


© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ab s t r a c t
Background : In less than a decade, Morocco reportedly saw cannabis cultivation decrease by 65%, and hashish production is widely believed to have followed the same trend. Yet large anomalies exist between the alleged fall of hashish production in Morocco and international seizure data. While no explanation for such a discrepancy existed, the main hypothesis was that cannabis cultivation and hashish production had not declined to the extent suggested by the available information.
Methods : Based on existing data, on interviews with various actors, from European police sources to Moroccan cannabis cultivators, and on field research in Morocco, this article reviews contradictory available data and confronts it with observations made in the field.
Results : In the past decade cannabis cultivation underwent radical changes that could explain the discrepancy between official Moroccan cultivation and production data on the one hand, and international seizures on the other hand. The “traditional” kif cannabis variety is being rapidly replaced by hybrids with much larger resin yields and much higher potency. This unnoticed phenomenon, which slowly started in the early 2000s, explains how a two-third decline in cannabis cultivation was at least partially compensated for by three to five-fold yield increases.
Conclusion : The fact that the massive ongoing switch to hybrid cultivation is largely unknown or unaccounted for is actually a serious issue, for it directly questions the economic strategies that are being implemented in part to reduce and suppress cannabis cultivation in the Rif.

Keywords : Morocco, Rif, Cannabis, Kif, Hashish, Hybrids, Yields