The greenhouses of Zoran Zaev’s cousin Trajce Zaev are empty, at least that’s how US based Bloomberg started their report. Although about a year ago, this very member of the Zaev clan entered the business of growing cannabis for medical use.
Macedonia is trying to forge its way in the medical marijuana market, everyone in the country wants to be a cannabis farmer, however, the entire control of it is currently within Zaev’s family. Bloomberg, in an analysis of the cannabis boom that is happening in Macedonia, says that they have tried to get in touch with Trajce Zaev to ask him what is happening with his huge cultivation facility in Sveti Nikole which at the moment is lacking cannabis and whether the same had been relocated.
Zaev’s cousin, Trajce Zaev, has set up a 22,000 square-meter cultivation facility near the town of Sveti Nikole. Last month, the sprawling unmarked greenhouse, surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by four security guards, was empty of cannabis. Trajce Zaev declined to discuss his business when contacted by phone and e-mail, Bloomberg says in its analysis.
TV Alfa also failed to get answers from Trajce Zaev whether cannabis was planted, whether it was stolen or sold and why its greenhouse was empty, which as the illegitimate Prime Minister acknowledged it was purchased for 10 million euros and which immediately employed about 30 citizens from Sveti Nikole.
The cousin himself pointed out in May that the first cannabis flower harvest is planned in late June, but although he has spent a year there, there is still no information on the extent of cannabis production in his greenhouse. What is happening with the cannabis in Macedonia and whether he has obtained additional licenses other than the eight that were publicly disclosed so far, and there is no clear information on who or how the cannabis business is regulated in Macedonia.
Bloomberg’s story comes shortly after Zaev’s controversial meeting with the self-proclaimed cannabis king Big Mike, which was virtually hidden by the government, but the businessman himself made it public by publishing videos and photos of his meeting with Zaev. Big Mike then announced that he would ‘rescue’ Macedonia by turning it into a cannabis paradise and create at least 40,000 jobs once marijuana was legalized and secure a clear path to the European market, which he discussed with Zaev. Big Mike has been living on the run with 7 false identities for more than a decade, and today he is active on social media promoting much more than medical cannabis use.
Bloomberg’s analysis also emphasizes that Macedonia is a country where besides cannabis, corruption flourishes as well. Transparency International places Macedonia 93rd in its Corruption Perceptions Index, on same level with protectorate Kosovo next door, Panama and Mongolia.
It also added that the Balkan region is already a transit route for illegal drugs and the concern is the weed might just end up on the black market, especially without a legal outlet for the developing industry.