The Cannabis Activities Regulatory Agency (ANRAC) of Morocco has given the country’s first 10 licenses for the cultivation and processing of cannabis.

According to the agency, farmers who form cooperatives in the northern mountain regions of Al Houceima, Taounat, and Chefchaouen would progressively be permitted to grow marijuana to suit the demands of the legal market, according to Reuters.

Cannabis is already widely cultivated in Morocco illegally and the new law, passed by the parliament last year, does not permit its use for recreation.

The law is intended to improve farmers’ incomes and protect them from drug traffickers who control the cannabis trade and export it illegally to Europe.

The agency will also grant permission for the marketing and export of cannabis and its derivatives for industrial, pharmaceutical, and medicinal uses

According to a statement released by ANRAC on October 4 and reported by Morocco World News, the action is a part of the implementation of Law 13-21 on the legitimate uses of cannabis.

ANRAC will start allowing farmers to legally cultivate and produce cannabis after issuing the first wave of licenses, doing so inside the strictly regulated framework of agricultural cooperatives.