Where Did Cannabis Come From?

The effort to uncover the unknown origins of cannabis is well underway.

Welcome to Four PM — a daily newsletter that provides cannabis industry news & interviews with cannabis industry leaders.

In Today’s Issue 💬

→ The Origins Of Cannabis

→ Snoop Dogg Speak Out

→ Will Morocco Legalize Cannabis?

The Origins Of Cannabis

A new study sheds light on one of the most interesting questions of all — where did cannabis come from?

In 2019, the excavation of a 2,500 year-old tomb in western China revealed the earliest evidence of humans using cannabis for its psychoactive properties.

This was a very important discovery as it highlighted just how long humans have been consuming cannabis — however, one burning question remained.

Where did cannabis come from?

For the first time, researchers in Switzerland and China have an answer.

This team of researchers compiled 110 whole genomes (the complete set of genetic information in an organism), covering a spectrum of different wild-growing feral plants, domesticated varieties of cannabis, and modern hybrids of hemp as well as high THC producing cannabis plants.

The answer…

→ Cannabis can be traced to East Asia, including parts of modern-day China. The finding challenges previous research stating that cultivated cannabis originated in Central Asia.

→ These early cultivated cannabis crops formed separate hemp and high THC cannabis genetic groups about 4,000 years ago.

→ The split between ancient “basal cannabis” and modern cannabis occurred roughly 12,000 years ago, placing cannabis in the distinguished categories of one of the first-ever cultivated crops on Earth.

Cannabis Goes International ✈️

The researchers state that high THC producing cannabis plants spread from East Asia to India around 3000 years ago.

In the last thousand years, cannabis is said to have reached Latin America and Africa, though cannabis didn’t get to North America until recent times — estimated to be the beginning of the 20th century.

Our Take

I doubt this study will “move markets” however, that’s not to discount the value of understanding the origins of this amazing plant.

The more people who understand the history of cannabis beyond the prohibition of cannabis — the sooner we will live in a world where every nation has legalized cannabis, and understanding the origins of cannabis is one essential component in furthering our understanding of this history.

Snoop Dogg Wants Change

“It’s hard for people with criminal records to get licensed, to get dispensaries.”

Snoop Dogg has already earned his place in the history books as being one of the most influential figures in the normalization of cannabis.

For decades Snoop has used his influence to highlight the benefits of consuming cannabis, however, this doesn’t mean he’s ready to stop here.

Snoop is now using his influence to ensure that those who built the cannabis industry ever before there was a “legal cannabis industry” are given an equal opportunity to help build this new industry.

In an interview last week, Snoop highlighted the fact that there remains far too many obstacles standing in the way of people from minority communities participating in legal cannabis.

“It’s so hard for Black men, it’s hard for people with criminal records, to get licensed, to get dispensaries.

They put so many different hurdles in front of us to where it becomes like an industry that’s not for us, but we do all the promoting of it, buying it, and making it what it is.”

Asked about his perspective on the future of cannabis, Snoop highlighted his sense of optimism that many of these issues will be resolved in time.

“I think that it’s going to actually trickle down into the right hands — and what I mean by right hands, I mean the people who deserve to get paid off of this, not the people just trying to get paid off of it.

The people who were actually there before it was legal, when they were trying to find ways to create and build, they should be the ones that get the first opportunities, not the people with the most money.”

Our Take

It’s so very refreshing to see individuals with Snoop's level of influence bringing the spotlight on these important issues.

In order to build the best version of the legal cannabis industry, it should go without saying that we need to work with the individuals responsible for paving the path that has allowed a legal cannabis industry to even exist in the first place.

With decades of expertise in selling & cultivating cannabis, the real crime here would be the creation of a legal cannabis industry without the expertise of these trailblazers.

Is Morocco On Track To Legalise Cannabis?

The region responsible for producing some of the highest quality cannabis in the 🌎 looks to go legal.

There are few regions around the world that have a better reputation for producing high-quality cannabis products than that of Morocco.

Cannabis may not be legal in the region, however, Morocco is responsible for supplying much of Europe's cannabis.

More specifically farmers in the Rif region of Morocco are responsible for supplying much of Europe's cannabis.

Farmers in the Rif, a poor mountainous region in northern Morocco, produce most of Morocco's cannabis, and despite their stellar reputation for producing some of the highest quality in the world they operate in a legal grey area as growing cannabis is against the law, however, these laws aren't enforced.

Change Is Coming

A bill that has already been passed by Moroccan parliament, and pending the approval of their king, is seeking to clarify the situation.

One of the reasons Morocco is moving towards legalization now is because in December the UN removed cannabis for medicinal use from its list of the most dangerous drugs.

Should this bill become law, it would legalize the cultivation, use, and export of cannabis for medical purposes in addition to the cultivation of hemp for textiles, however, it falls short of legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

It would also only allow cannabis to be cultivated in certain regions of the country such as the Rif.

Push Back…

King Muhammad’s plans have not been received with open arms as is evident by the large protests in the Rif region in recent times.

Cannabis farmers in the region fear they will be run out of business by large corporations with deep pockets who are better able to navigate these new rules as many farmers are unaccustomed to growing cannabis to the strict standards required to export cannabis for medical purposes.

People in the Rif are also frustrated that the proposed law does not provide amnesty for the estimated 48,000 farmers who have cannabis-related arrest warrants hanging over them. 

Our Take

Change always comes at a cost, and the unfortunate reality of the situation currently unfolding in Morocco is that the very farmers who are responsible for building Morocco's stellar reputation for producing high-quality cannabis are being asked to bear the cost of this change.

With Europe slowly moving in favor of implementing legislative change to legalize cannabis, it seems inevitable that Morocco will legalize cannabis, however, the question remains as to whether they will be doing so with, or without the support of the experienced cannabis farmers in the region.

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