The European cannabis scene is in for a big shakeup after the Czech Republic announced its plans to legalize recreational marijuana.
Legal Weed For Europeans
The Czech Republic is planning on legalizing recreational marijuana, and they’re looking to Germany for guidance.
The Czech Conservative-led coalition government is already drafting regulation legislation to be presented in March of next year—full legalization can be expected in early 2024.
The government commissioned drug commissioner Jindřich Vobořil to draft a law to legalize adult-use cannabis in September. Vobořil announced that Czech officials are in contact with Germany and are considering adopting Germany’s model for its legislation.
The Czech Republic And Cannabis
The Czech Republic has historically been quite lenient on cannabis laws. In 2010, possession for personal use was decriminalized, and in 2013, medical cannabis was legalized. Today, around one-third of people in the Czech Republic have consumed marijuana, with approximately 9% saying they use it regularly.
The Czech Republic cultivates hemp with a THC content of up to 1%, which is significantly higher than the EU limit of about 0.2%—although the EU recently revised the limit, allowing up to 0.3%.
Despite decriminalizing personal use, the illegal market is thriving in the Czech Republic and Europe because of the lack of regulation and legal cultivation.
Legalization could make the Czech government a lot of money, and it also has the potential to curb the black market by legalizing production and distribution while also establishing strict quality control measures.
The Plan For Legalization
The Czech Republic is planning to legalize cannabis like Germany, though the proposed collaboration’s extent is unclear. However, what is clear is that Germany’s decision to legalize adult-use cannabis has pushed nations like the Czech Republic to integrate the industry faster. This is a welcome change for citizens looking for safe and legal access to cannabis products.
Vobořil said that cannabis would be sold in selected pharmacies and in licensed dispensaries. He also stated that municipalities would have the opportunity to decide whether allow or ban cannabis stores, though if he knew how that played out in California, he might sing a different tune. The government would also spearhead a public health effort to encourage safer methods of marijuana consumption, like vaping or sublingual ingestion.
Vobořil aims to establish a cannabis social club’s model for Czech consumers, widely used in Spain. Germany won’t have clubs but is proposing possession limits instead. It’s all relatively early in the process, though, so the proposed regulations may be subject to change.
Legalizing cannabis in central Europe may catalyze other countries in the region to follow suit. If neighboring countries pass similar legislation, it will be much more difficult for drug traffickers to smuggle their goods across borders and discourage drug tourism. If a few more European countries legalize cannabis, it could also encourage others across the continent to move forward with legalization.
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!