In the wake of ongoing sanctions from the West that have limited Russia’s access to narcotic crops, Russia is looking to make its own.
This week, the country’s government approved a draft bill that would lift Russia’s ban on growing narcotic poppy plants. If passed, opioid poppies will be grown at two factories already producing narcotic medications. Most of Russia’s poppy crops have to be imported from the U.S. and EU countries, which imposed a broad range of sanctions on Russia after it annexed the Crimea peninsula in 2014.
Russia has also reportedly been gripped by painkiller shortages in recent years.
The bill now needs to be passed by parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin before it becomes law.
Read the full Reuters report.