Ketama and Hash

Ketama is the traditional name of Issaguen, a village in the Taza-Alhucemas-Tauna region of North Morocco called Rif. At the foot of Jebel Tidighine Mountain (2.457 m), in the Rif Mountain Range, there is one of the largest and most exuberant cannabis plantations in the world.

riff mountains, Coffeeshop Smokerdam in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid

History

Back in the days, Ketama was a small village where tourists were accommodated to practice skiing or trekking; today, tourism has been gradually replaced by cannabis cultivation, the main economic driver in the region. Traditionally, cannabis cultivation has been present among retailers; however, it is currently cultivated on a wholesale basis, producing enough cannabis to supply European hash consumption.

Mount Jbel Tidirhine

From Ketama, you can visit the Tidirhine Mountain, which, during the winter months, appears to be covered by snow and is available for skiing. In reality, its summit has the best ski resort in Morocco. You can hunt wild pigs in hot months, or just go trekking. Ketama’s in the Rif mountain range, an especially mountainous area, full of green spaces, with a fascinating geography, history and landscape.

Hash elaboration

Although shocking for regular marijuana consumers, almost the whole crop in these valleys is focused on hash elaboration; the uncountable annual hash tons provide Maghreb and European hash consumption. Hash enters Europe by sea, through Gibraltar straight; generally, through the Mediterranean coast, mainly through southern Iberian towns, like Cádiz, and, secondary, through other French and Italian ports. Then, hash follows a northern route, passing through some controls and frontiers, being finally consumed in some of the most famous Dutch coffee-shops.

When bud-growing happens, the crops are processed to be dried and cured. In the cold winter, marijuana is taken out of the drying storage to remove the polm – much easier to get out of the bud when it's cold. Then the buds are placed in bowls filled with sieves, and they're all wrapped in big plastic bags. The weed is tapped with a stick, they move in drumming like motion so that the polm falls to the bottom of the bucket, and thus the polm is removed from the dried buds.

The final result is a yellow substance containing the polm, mixed with some material traces of the herb. Then the material is hot pressed or cold baked, producing hash of various qualities, colors and textures.