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04 July

Your quick guide to laws governing cannabis around the world

These last years, Cannabis And products containing cannabis components are one of the topical subjects in the life science industry.

Many countries now allow the medical use of cannabis to deal with many conditions, including chronic pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis and many others. In addition, more and more countries have recently authorized the recreational use of cannabis. Finally, hemp (cannabis cultivated without psychotropic substances) is another booming industry in the world.

Although there are international treaties, production, distribution and consumption of controlled substances (including cannabis) is still traditionally regulated by each country individually (even within the EU). Some countries still consider cannabis as a dangerous illicit substance.

The legal landscape of cannabis and its products is therefore very fragmented and complicated, which makes any involvement in the cannabis industry difficult.

This article is a collection and a rapid guide to cannabis laws worldwide. So, each time you visit a new region, you should take a quick look to find out if you can freely consume cannabis in this region or not.

laws governing cannabis around the world


In Europe:

Currently, cannabis consumption is at various stages of legality and decriminalization in certain European countries. Among these countries are the Czech Republic, Portugal, Russia, Croatia, Spain, Ukraine and Switzerland. However, it remains illegal everywhere else in Europe.

In France :

The French government published a decree in February 2022 which authorizes the cultivation of medical cannabis and the development of its industry.

Although the decree has entered into force on March 1, 2022, the legislators must implement it.

Legislation only specifies the conditions and procedures for cultivation and production of cannabis for medical use.

The decree has modified certain parts of the French public health code to allow culture, production, manufacturing, transport, import, export and detention of cannabis and its derivatives under medical authorization.

The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) Supervise the creation of the supply chain in medical cannabis.

France has one of the strictest policies in the European Union (EU) in terms of cannabis, although it has one of the highest cannabis consumption rates in Europe.

Anyone who owns cannabis is exposed to a prison sentence that can go up to a year and a fine of more than $ 4,000. Import, export, transport, possession, supply and illegal delivery of cannabis can be sanctioned by heavier sentences.

However, France has set up a fine on site of € 200 in 2020, reducible to € 150 if it is paid within 15 days or paid to € 450 if it is paid after 45 days.

Although France is the first hemp producer of the EU, most plants are used for industrial purposes.

However, the sale of CBD products has appeared on the French market, and CBD stores have flowered in recent years, but as the sale of CBD flowers is not regulated, it has been the subject of political concerns in recent years.

The sale of CBD is only legal if it does not contain THC. Otherwise, it can be considered a narcotic by the authorities.

Consequently, the sale of CBD flowers has been the subject of restrictions.

In Swiss:

Cannabis is often illegally marketed in the form of marijuana/grass (dried cannabis flowers) or hashish (cannabis resin). These prohibited substances contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC has a harmful effect and can be dangerous for health.

The decisive factor for classification as a prohibited drug is the amount of THC contained in a cannabis product. If the THC content exceeds 1 %, the product is prohibited. Haschisch is prohibited regardless of its THC content.

If you are caught consuming cannabis, you can be sentenced to a flat -rate fine of 100 francs.

Cannabis -based products are authorized if they contain less than 1 % THC. For example, these are hemp flowers, scented oils, ointments and drops that are ingested.

You are also authorized to cultivate hemp on a private basis, provided that the THC content of the variety of cannabis is less than 1 %.

Even in the case of cannabis -based products with a low content in THC, suppliers must in particular comply with a whole series of regulations. The rules also apply to the non -intoxicant active substance that is cannabidiol (CBD). Switzerland has developed a brochure on CBD products, mainly intended for suppliers.

Bottle cbd

In the Nederlands

The Dutch Opium law distinguishes drugs with a low risk of harmfulness (soft drugs) Drugs with high risk of harmfulness (hard drugs). Cannabis appears in the category of soft drugs, which means that its use, possession and trade are prohibited by Dutch law on opium, but tolerated openly in certain circumstances by official policy.

Patients have access to medicinal cannabis in their pharmacy, provided they have a prescription. Cannabis can also be obtained in "coffee shops" because the sale and possession of small amounts of cannabis (less than 5 grams) for personal use are tolerated. However, the quality of medicinal cannabis obtained in pharmacies is better protected because it is subject to strict regulations.

The violation of the Dutch law on opium due to a culture, import, possession or illegal promotion can constitute an offense and there is a risk of high criminal sanctions (imprisonment until Twelve years or fine).

The recreational use of cannabis is openly tolerated in the Netherlands. The cultivation of five hemp or less home plants is not the subject of prosecution, according to directives from the Dutch government.

In accordance with national directives, the retail of recreational cannabis to consumers is tolerated if the coffee shops meet the criteria said AHOJ-G: no flagrant advertising, no hard drugs, no nuisance, no minor customers and no big quantities. The sale of small -scale cannabis is therefore a crime from a legal point of view but is not continued under certain conditions. On the other hand, the culture and supply of recreational cannabis to coffee shops remain strictly illegal.

In Spain :

The cultivation of cannabis for research, medical and scientific purposes is prohibited without authorization from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices (Aemps).

To date, the AEMPS has granted nine authorizations to cultivate cannabis to nine entities for research purposes.

In addition, five other companies have received authorizations for the production and/or manufacture of cannabis and its products for medical and scientific purposes.

Five for crops for research, including one for a content of less than 0.2% of THC, a license for cultures for educational purposes only and two for cultures for medicinal purposes.

As medicinal cannabis is not regulated in Spain, the cultivation of cannabis or the production of derivatives for marketing is only authorized in the case of export to a company duly authorized in its country of origin.

Article 368 of the Spanish penal code criminalizes the cultivation of cannabis when it promotes, encourages or facilitates illegal consumption of drugs and provides for a prison sentence from three to six years.

Nevertheless, case law provides that the culture and possession of narcotic substances which are not intended for traffic but for personal consumption and certain hypotheses of shared consumption in which there is no purpose or risk of dissemination, are devoid of sanction. Consequently, if this culture is not intended for the purposes mentioned but only for self -consumption or shared consumption within an organization, it is indeed an act of impunity.

In addition, Spanish safety legislation establishes that "consumption or possession" of "toxic drugs, narcotics or psychotropic substances, even if they are not intended for traffic, in places, roads , public establishments or public transport "is considered a serious offense, and imposes sanctions ranging from 600 to 30,000 euros.

In America:

In the USA :

In the United States, marijuana is illegal at the federal level, whether for adult or medical use. Cannabis appears on the list of controlled substances of Annex I, which means that it is classified as having a strong potential for abuse and that it has no recognized medical use.

However, despite the illegal status of marijuana at the federal level, the majority of American states have legalized cannabis for medical use or for adults. In 2013, the Ministry of Justice declared that it would not engage in prosecution to block laws legalizing cannabis at the level of states, provided that the latter adopted regulations aimed at limiting sales to minors, interstate traffic , illegal activities of cartels and gangs, as well as accidents and excessive violence linked to cannabis.

This tenuous policy of "confidence but verification" has largely remained in place, the federal government generally refusing to devote resources to the application of federal laws in legal states. Although they are still illegal at the federal level, many states now have legal cannabis dispensaries.

 Cannabis laws in the USA

In Canada :

The Government of Canada legalized, regulated and restricted access to cannabis on October 17, 2018.

Under federal legislation:

  • Adults can have up to 30 grams of cannabis legally produced.
  • Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household.
  • The minimum age for purchase and consumption is 18 years, but the provinces can increase this age limit
  • Authorized cannabis production is controlled by the federal government
  • The distribution and sale of cannabis are controlled by the provincial government.

At Uruguay:

Cannabis is legal in Uruguay, and is one of the most used drugs in the nation.

President José Mujica signed a law aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis in December 2013, making Uruguay the first country in the modern era to legalize cannabis.

In August 2014, Uruguay legalized the cultivation of up to six home plants, as well as the training of culture clubs, a regime of marijuana dispensaries controlled by the State, and the creation of a regulatory institute Cannabis (Instituto de Regulación y control del cannabis or IRCCA).

In October 2014, the government began to record the cultivators' clubs, in turn authorized to cultivate a maximum of 99 cannabis plants per year; In August 2015, there were 2,743 personal cultivators recorded. After a long delay in the implementation of the retail sale of the law, in 2017, sixteen pharmacies were authorized to sell cannabis on a commercial basis.

Certain details of the Uruguayan regulatory model are still being developed, but at this initial stage, two types of cannabis herb are on sale legally, with a relatively low content of 2% of THC (at 5 and 7% CBD). Cannabis will be sold in simple, brand -free packaging, and retail prices are fixed by theRacca At € 6 for each five -gram sealed package (0.18 OZ), which is just below the current levels of the illegal market (although prices will be higher for future more powerful varieties). Edible products with cannabis or other cannabis infused products are not available for retail.

In Africa:

In Africa, the application of marijuana laws is ineffective. If you are taken into possession of this substance, you risk undergoing serious consequences, especially in Nigeria and Ethiopia. South Africa is the only country where cannabis consumption is safe compared to other African countries, but it is still not recommended.

Lesotho and Zimbabwe have legalized cannabis for medical culture, while other countries plan to do so. Among these countries are Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Malawi and Kenya. In the future, these countries have a better chance of decriminalizing cannabis.


In Asia and Middle East:

The best thing to do with cannabis when you are in these regions is to avoid moving with it in the end. Cannabis is currently illegal in these regions, except in South Korea, where it can only be used for medical purposes. There is also a rumor that it would be legal in North Korea, but this information is still contested due to the lack of access to information in the country.

In the Middle East and Asia, most people still consider the possession of cannabis as a serious crime, while others absolutely do not take into account. In some countries, such as Singapore, Turkey, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Japan, it is not at all legal to touch cannabis.

You can consume cannabis safely in countries like India, Laos and Cambodia. Also, don't forget that foreigners should not expect preferential treatments compared to those from which the premises benefit. If you arrive in these regions, check the particular status of cannabis in the countries you visit and respect the rules.

It may be wise to leave your reserve at home when you go to Asia or Middle East countries, because these regions are always strictly opposed to the plant in its two forms (medical and recreational).

 cannabis laws

Conclusion :

Unlike previous eras, many of these regions which may seem very hostile to cannabis begin to consider the medical advantages offered by the plant. Yes, many of these countries are still conservative, but young people read and seek the benefits of marijuana.

They can remain conservative at the moment, but experts agree that the future of cannabis in these regions is brilliant. The countries of North America, where cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and legalized in states, are a good example. Little by little, people become aware of the value offered by cannabis, which allows countries and regions to accept and legalize cannabis.


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