Northern Macedonia conjures thoughts of beautiful landscapes, great cuisine, and lots of history. Soon you’ll hear medical marijuana cultivation on the list of things.
Northern Macedonia sits at a major junction of communication highways.
The great north-south route takes you from the Danube river to the Aegean Sea. This route lies in the valley between Morava and Vardar.
The east-west trade route connects Istanbul and the Black Sea to the Adriatic Sea.
Travelers know the country for its rich history and beautiful mountains. The country has the most mountain peaks in the world.
The temperature is mild. Averaging between 0 degrees Centigrade in winter and 25 degrees Centigrade in summer. Mediterranean and continental climates make Northern Macedonia an ideal place for growing.
Like Columbia, the country has a rich agricultural economy. At one point approximately 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) was from agriculture. Making a noticeable point.
Northern Macedonia is a great place to grow marijuana. But its proximity to Eastern European countries makes sense from a medical perspective.
Neighboring countries like Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Greece will need medical marijuana someday. And Northern Macedonia is in the right place to supply it.
The country’s cannabis cultivators are making preparations for future demand.
Kostadin Dukovski, is the president of the Association for Medical Cannabis Cultivators in Northern Macedonia (MAKKANABIS). He believes Northern Macedonia has a big opportunity in the area of cannabis. The organization unites the Northern Macedonian medical cannabis industry. The goal – to “campaign for clear, fair, policy and promote the industry as a key economic opportunity.” And they’re moving in the right direction.
The investors are coming. They see a future for medicinal cannabis in the small country. Dukovski assures talks with stakeholders and hospitals are underway. Plans are being made for a foundation dedicated to clinical cannabis research. The foundation will provide needed research on the benefits of cannabis use.
But as things usually go in this industry there are some roadblocks.
- The law does not allow the exportation of medicinal cannabis dry flowers. Only bulk oil or finished product are legal exports from the country
- Companies cultivating need technology to meet standards of European export markets
- GMP (good manufacturing practices) certificates are not recognized when issued in Northern Macedonia. Cultivators must get certificates from auditing outside countries.
These roadblocks will disappear when the country’s laws change to allow:
- The use of the entire plant and
- The exportation of cannabis flower
Cannabis enthusiasts like Dukovski foresee legal reform coming. A reform from the UN will make things in Northern Macedonia happen faster. The UN will vote on cannabis later this year. If the vote is yes for marijuana, Northern Macedonia is in the prime position to move ahead.
Despite these legal roadblocks, the opportunity for Northern Macedonian cannabis remains intact. The land and climate are good for cannabis cultivation. The infrastructure is already set up and operating. And the location is good.
All it’s going to take is a little legal change. When the laws change, Northern Macedonia will be ready to seize the opportunity.