How Good is Taliban Weed?
The new Taliban government of Afghanistan, desperate for cash and an export business to match what the country must import from other countries, may or may not have signed a cannabis trade agreement with Cpharm, an Australian-based pharmaceutical company. This will give Cpharm access to rare landrace marijuana strains that grow in Afghanistan and other Middle East countries.
At least that was the original story reported by The Times in London, now, many are skeptical of the deal being true. The only Cpharm in Australia is denying any involvment in such an annoucement, but did say while there very well could be a cannabis deal in place, it is not with their company. Is the story too good to be true and a masterful troll job by the Taliban? Is there a Chinese or Russian backed movement to help the Afghan government set up a hashish processing plant to the tune of $450 million? Time will tell if this was all a Thanksgiving rouse, or if the Taliban plan to export cannabis.
While the Taliban are considered a terrorist group by many countries in the United Nations, their recent takeover of Afghanistan after US troop withdrawals has opened a key timeframe window with the Western world in trying to establish a more democratic government and modern trade agreements.
While weed grabbed the headline in this case, the physical country of Afghanistan could have a plethora or important exports if trade agreements can be reached. According to the US Sun:
Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer, a major cannabis producer and increasingly methamphetamine production.
Afghanistan’s provinces are peppered with iron, copper, gold, coal and other deposits once said to be worth around £2trillion, according to nation’s Ministry of Mines. And in 2010, an oilfield with an estimated 1.8billion barrels was discovered which is estimated to be worth around £100billion.
The war-ravaged country is also believed to have one the world’s largest deposits of lithium – an essential but scarce component needed for batteries in the global boom in electric cars.
While not wanting to support a brutal regime like the Taliban, the thought of very rare landrace strains becoming accessible and shippable to countries like Canada and the US has some in the cannabis industry salivating. With cannabis genetics and hybrids finally getting full scientific support from places like the DEA and FDA, new genetic strains from rare landrace strains could create some exciting new products that could deal with a whole litany of ailments.
One other issue facing the new Afghan government is that drugs and drug production are officially illegal under the ultra-conservative Taliban regime, yet Afghanistan is one of the world’s leading suppliers of opium, and more recently, methamphetamines. The previous governments of Afghanistan looked the other way as the money flowed into the country, but with legal trade agreements in place, the Taliban may be forced to recognize cannabis production and exportation as an official business and product of Afghanistan. It will be a tricky tight rope to walk based on their ultra-conservative religion but as always, if enough money is at stake, government’s will find a way to make it work legally, while saving face religiously.