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N. Macedonia medical marijuana firm raided, 1.5 tons seized

February 9, 2022 GMT

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia have raided a company legally growing marijuana for medicinal purposes and seized about 1.5 tons of cannabis due to “irregularities” in the firm’s operation, the country’s interior minister said Wednesday.

Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski said in a written statement that the seized quantity had not been declared and was confiscated “due to irregularities in the operation of the legal entity.” He provided no further details, and police did not respond to requests for clarification.

The raid took place Tuesday in the southern town of Strumica, where several companies licensed to grow medical marijuana in North Macedonia are based. No arrests were made.

North Macedonia was among the first Balkan countries to allow patients to legally buy and use marijuana products for medical — but not recreational — purposes.

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Since 2016, authorities have issued more than 60 licenses for cultivation of medical cannabis.

Former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who stepped down earlier this year after governing since 2017, was a strong supporter of legalizing marijuana and had advocated its recreational use in tourist hot-spots, including the capital, Skopje, and the lakeside town of Ohrid. But his proposals never made it to parliament.