The Moroccan Government has approved a bill to legalise non-recreational use of cannabis and take advantage of growing international demand for the plant.

The move sets one of the world’s top producers on the path to a regulated market.

The bill, which is supported by the prime minister, was approved by the cabinet and will now be submitted to parliament.

Some members of the Islamist Justice and Development Party oppose the move, but otherwise it has widespread support. If approved, it will make Morocco one of the few countries in the region to legalise non-recreational use.

The Government is planning to establish a regulatory framework for the cultivation, production, processing and marketing of cannabis for medical, cosmetic and industrial uses.

A government agency would be established to ensure legal cannabis isn’t used for illicit purposes.