Is CBD legal in Czech Republic?
CBD products have been making quite some noise around the globe. Scientists have shown multiple possible benefits of cannabis products and consumers show clear signs of trusting the science on this matter.
Demand for cannabis and related products is surging, plenty of persons with big dreams responded by opening their businesses and are launching new and innovative products.
In order to keep track of scientific and business development, some governments are responding with new drug laws, changing their regulation of CBD. Even the European Union harmonized the regulations among the member states.
Despite this, we at Essentia Pura, believe that more can and should be done to help consumers and businesses in the rising cannabis world.
One country that is worth noting is the Czech Republic. When it comes to cannabis, it has always been just slightly ahead of the curve. We think it deserves a closer look.
In the first part of the article, we will quickly explain the basics of CBD, we will focus on cannabis and the differences between the types of the plant and what the law says about cannabis in the Czech Republic. We will also explain what CBD is and how scientists make cannabis products. In the next part, we will focus on how CBD is regulated in the Czech Republic. In the final part, we will offer you some advice on where and how to buy or sell CBD products in the country.
This piece is part of a wider series of articles. We at Essentia Pura believe in providing factual and up to date information on CBD law around Europe. This enables businesses and consumers to make smarter and quicker decisions.
If you are interested you are welcome to read our comprehensive article covering the regulation of CBD in the European Union (EU). You can also access our analysis of the CBD laws in Greece, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Ireland.
If you want to learn more about drug law and cannabis in the Czech Republic, please read on.
CBD comes from cannabis. If we want to understand CBD products and their uses, we must first explain the different cannabis plants. It is without a doubt an infamous plant, but people often mistake what they know about it for certainty. This is why we need to write a bit more about it.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of cannabis plants, they are known as marijuana and as hemp. Although they are similar they differ in important chemical and legal aspects. Let us take a closer look at each one of them.
Marijuana is certainly the most famous of the duo, so let’s begin here.
The first thing you might notice about marijuana is how people respond to the word. People view it through such different lenses, some quite literally shudder in disgust, on the other hand, there are some who show almost religious devotion to it. How is that possible? Why are opinions on marijuana so divided? And most importantly, where does the government stand in that debate?
Psychoactive parts of marijuana and its regulation
We believe that a part of the cannabis known as THC is responsible for that. This is the main cause of you feeling the famous intoxicating high feeling when you use marijuana. It is also the reason that governments are not fond of cannabis. Marijuana is usually regulated at least in some way.
When the Czech Republic became independent in 1993 it changed its drug laws in a very liberal way.
Sale and cultivation remained illegal, but consumption and possession were allowed. This changed a couple of years later, so possession became illegal, but small amounts (up to 15 grams) of possession are only treated as a misdemeanor and not a criminal offence- so no prison sentence just for possession of a small amount.
Furthermore, cultivation of cannabis plants is legal, but only if you grow up to five plants, according to the penal code and ministry of justice.
Even with the changes, the Czech Republic regulation of cannabis is among the most liberal in Europe.
An important development is the medical usage of cannabis. This became legal in the Czech Republic in 2013. The ministry of health had hoped that the change in law will help the Czech Republic in becoming a world leader in medical cannabis. Unfortunately, this did not work quite as planned. Let’s take a closer look at Czech regulation.
Getting medical cannabis
You can get medical cannabis with an electronic prescription from your doctor. You are only entitled to a prescription as a treatment for certain diseases such as:
- neuropathic pain,
- Parkinson’s disease,
- certain side-effects associated with cancer and AIDS treatment,
- multiple sclerosis.
You should note that the health insurance will only cover the expense if you get up to 30 grams per prescription and 180 grams of dry matter per month.
On top of that, it is illegal to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes to anyone under the age of 18. This means that only patients who are of age can be treated with a medical cannabis product.
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Problems with medical cannabis program
The Czech Republic had high hopes for its medical cannabis program. Despite the best intentions, a number of issues showed up.
First off patients are not well informed about the possibilities of cannabis product treatment. To add to that, doctors are unfortunately sometimes equally uninformed and reluctant to do give out prescriptions.
There are also serious problems with the supply of the product, as there is almost no local production of medical cannabis. There is only one producer of medical cannabis in the Czech Republic – Elkoplast Slušovice. All of the above is making legal medical cannabis consumption difficult.
On the bright side, the government is aware of this and is trying to fix it. For example, just recently it increased the amount of medical cannabis that can be imported into the country, as well as changed the law to make cultivation easier.
Despite these issues, cannabis for medical use is possible in the Czech Republic and patients are starting to use it. There are reports that 2020 will have a higher usage of medical cannabis than in previous years. This gives us a glimmer of hope for a bright future.
The second important version of cannabis is hemp. It has been a part of human civilization for centuries. It was used in a lot of different industries, ranging from textile production to food supplements. However, in the twentieth century, it was banned by most countries, including the Czech government. Hemp production is slowly revitalizing in the Czech Republic, you can now see it in the field, and citizens are starting with its active cultivation.
Difference from marijuana
The main difference is in its THC content. While marijuana is rich in it, hemp contains only traces, not nearly enough to affect your mind and body. The law usually prescribes the limit of THC in cannabis in order to distinguish it. the limit in the product is usually 0.2%, but the Czech Republic is slightly more liberal, allowing the content to reach 0,3% to still be qualified as hemp.
If you have plans for cultivation you will require Czech government approval, to stay legal. We recommend you talk to a local expert to guide you through the steps.
We hope that you now understand the basic terms of cannabis. But we still haven’t answered the crucial question. What exactly is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 cannabinoids that comes from the cannabis plant. Scientists extract CBD from cannabis so that they isolate it from other cannabinoids. Most importantly, you can separate it from the psychoactive substances in cannabis. You can then use the extracted substance to make oil or other products. We have now given you just a short answer. If you want an in-depth look at CBD, please read our article here.
As explained in the beginning, the European Union (EU) harmonized the regulation of CBD products in its member states. This means that all of them have a common base of drug laws, but you can still find some differences. Let’s take a look at the situation in the Czech Republic.
CBD is legal in the Czech Republic as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC (psychoactive substances), or in other words – if it is manufactured from hemp.
In that is the case, it is legal to use, buy, and sell hemp in the Czech Republic. You can purchase it freely all across the country, but stores with bigger supply are usually situated in bigger cities such as Prague.
If the product contains psychoactive substances it can only be purchased from a pharmacy with a special electronic prescription as a treatment for patients – this is the medical use of cannabis that we talked about above.
Buying and selling
As promised we will offer some advice on how to buy and sell your products in the Czech Republic. We already explained above that the sale of your product is generally speaking free. Nonetheless, there are some things you should know.
CBD can be sold in the Czech market and sales are increasing. However, you also need to make sure that you follow all the necessary regulations. We recommend you talk to a specialist to walk you through this process.
It is vital to understand that despite the harmonization of CBD laws in EU, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is still hesitant to confirm CBD safety. This has only added to problems, with many countries reconsidering their approach to CBD products.1
Thus, for example, in early 2023, the Czech Republic wanted to ban sales of all CBD products for oral intake. In fact, this news was widely shared by various media outlets.2 However, fortunately, the State Agricultural and Food Inspection (SZPI) of the republic has stepped back. It means that CBD is legal in the nation.There is also some encouraging news, too. Czech is on the path to legalizing recreational marijuana,3 which will have an indirect impact on the CBD market, too, since the legalization of marijuana often means that CBD would stay legal in the nation.
If you are looking for a business partner to supply your company, take a look at Essentia Pura. We are a Slovenian company that offers the bulk sale of CBD extracts. We take pride in ensuring strict compliance with national and EU regulations.
If you want further information, please contact us at our email address. Our professional staff will get back to you as soon as possible.
Are you a consumer and are looking for cannabis for personal use?
You can buy CBD extracted from hemp without restrictions in the Czech Republic. It is available in pharmacies and health stores in major cities, like Prague. If you want to have a wider variety of products on offer then we suggest you try to buy it online. You can buy products from different countries and can check out online reviews from other customers.
How about patients with a medical condition that they would like to treat with cannabis use?
In that case, you need to get a prescription from your doctor. Only then you can get your hands on medical cannabis and use it without fear of the law and police.
Above all, please always check out the store you are buying from. You have to be sure they are a proper and legitimate business, dealing only with legal products. We also urge you to avoid buying from companies that make over-the-top health claims about their products.
We have to stress again that possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana type cannabis is legal in the Czech Republic, but we advise that you are careful, when it comes to drug use in public.
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So is CBD legal?
The short answer is “yes”. For our purposes, the Czech Republic has a fairly liberal treatment of cannabis. Patients can access medical cannabis up to a certain amount per month. Furthermore, police will not criminally prosecute a resident for recreational use, but citizens will be fined. Nonetheless, we believe that CBD businesses and legal cannabis use will continue to grow in the Czech Republic.
There have been some attempts in 2023 by The State Agricultural and Food Inspection (SZPI) of the Czech Republic to limit the sales of CBD products. However, after political pressures, this decision has been withdrawn. Moreover, it is worth knowing the nation is on the path to legalizing recreational marijuana. This means that outlook for the CBD market in the nation is bright.