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‘Canna-tourism’: North Macedonia looks to cannabis legalization to boost tourism

African countries should take the proverbial leaf out of North Macedonia’s approach to cannabis legalization. The European country’s developing a cannabis policy framework in which tourism is a key component.

North Macedonia’s cannabis regulation body said on 24 June 2021 that it is drafting a legal framework for decriminalisation, legalisation and use of the substance. The country legalised use of medical cannabis in 2016.


Legalization to boost tourism

In November 2020, Social Democrat Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that he supports the decriminalisation, but also legalisation, of cannabis consumption saying that this will help the tourism and hospitality industry in the country.


North Macedonia Cannabis Tourism

North Macedonia putting itself on the canna-tourism map


Travel industry publication Travel Daily News reports that cannabis tourism is a growing area. Rather like wine tourism where enthusiasts visit vineyards, cannabis tourists visit areas where the drug is legal.

At the second meeting, the working group adopted definitions of the terms ‘decriminalisation’, ‘legalisation’ and ‘depenalisation’ regarding cannabis use, the government’s statement said.


First concrete steps to a new cannabis regime

The definitions of terms are needed to better understand the levels of permitted use of cannabis, including recreational use.

The working group also took a decision on making a comparative analysis of cannabis use models in 10 states in the world – Albania, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, as well as in Colorado and California in the US.

North Macedonia’s government made the first concrete moves to decriminalise the use of cannabis by setting up a working group to draft legislative changes in that direction in May 2021.

The group consists of institutions, associations and civil society organisations including representatives from the prime minister’s office and ministries of health, justice and interior ministry.

The mandate of the working group includes the regulation of decriminalisation and legalisation of possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use, the establishment of the Cannabis Agency and increasing the number of health conditions for which cannabis would be used.

One Response

  1. Would it not be the cherry on top if the Wild Coast valleys can each market their own brand of bud for tourists, a la ‘Champagne’. Perfect set and setting to mellow out on!

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