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CANNABIS INDUSTRY 

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Middle East Conflict: Moroccan Hash Dealers Boycott Israel Over Gaza

Middle East Conflict: Moroccan Hash Dealers Boycott Israel Over Gaza

Although exporting Hashish to Israel was incredibly lucrative to dealers in Morocco, they are no longer willing to sell to Israeli dealers: 'Why Should Israelis be able to make a living selling Moroccan hashish when our Palestinian brothers are suffering from hunger?'

Rachel Fink, Haaretz News

7 May 2024 at 04:00:00

This report from Israeli news media, Haaretz.


Hashish dealers in Morocco have said they will stop supplying to Israel in light of the war in Gaza, as reported by Israeli news site Mako earlier this year.


According to an Israeli drug dealer interviewed for the report, the Moroccan suppliers are no longer willing to sell directly to Israeli dealers or through middlemen. "They decided because of the war, they are boycotting," the source, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "Since the war, we have lost so much money. Tens of millions of shekels, at least."


The majority of Moroccan cannabis is grown and processed into hashish, which is not to be confused with the less-potent but more widely known marijuana, in the al-Rif region in the northern part of the country.


It is generally considered to be some of the highest quality product available on the market, and world-wide demand for the drug has kept the prices rising at a steady increase for the last several years, with revenue reaching several billion dollars a year. The use of cannabis for recreational use was officially decriminalized in Israel in early 2022.


According to one Israeli living in Morocco and involved in smuggling hashish into Spain and France, who was interviewed by Mako, Israel does not make up a large percentage of Morocco's hashish export business. "Hundreds of tons of hashish are sold to drug dealers in Europe and Scandinavia," he explained. "At best, only a few hundred kilograms of Moroccan hashish reach Israel."


Despite the relatively small volume being exported to Israel, it was still incredibly lucrative for drug dealers inside the country prior to the boycott. "The price of a kilogram of Moroccan hashish can reach 300,000 NIS (about $81,720) in Israel. The demand for it in Israel is crazy because it is very high quality, clean and powerful," the man continued.


Hashish is one of several drugs that is regularly smuggled into Israel across both its southern and northern border. Criminal organizations involved in the drug trade regularly employ local Israeli smugglers, among them yeshiva students, who hide the drugs, for instance, in hidden compartments in their suitcases.A hashish dealer from the Rif Mountains identified only as R. confirmed that a boycott has, in fact, been imposed on Israeli dealers. 


"Why Should Israelis be able to make a living selling Moroccan hashish when our Palestinian brothers are suffering from hunger and living in inhumane conditions," he told Mako."Go buy it somewhere else. We no longer sell hashish to Israelis. Before the war, we did business here with them. Smugglers and sellers came here and made good money. Now that's the end of it," he said.

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