Over 280 Turkish farmers applied for cannabis farming since 2018

A total of 283 farmers have applied for cannabis farming in Turkey in the past two years as the country looks to promote industrial cannabis production, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said.

In 2018, 41 farmers applied for cannabis farming on 1.6 million square metres of farmland and in 2019, 242 farmers sought cannabis farming over land spanning 10 million square metres, Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted Pakdemirli as saying on Wednesday.

The ministry has initiated a project for the farming of cannabis with a low rate of psychoactive compounds and is expected to register the seeds for the project over the next two years, Cumhuriyet said. 

The ministry is working with the General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises (TİGEM) to reproduce seeds obtained from local populations and thus avoid having to import them, it said.

Recreational use of cannabis in Turkey is illegal, but the country has legalised limited medical cannabis production and use.