cbd in croatiaDecember 15, 2021
In 2020, there were about 80 hemp producers in Croatia who grew it on about 2.500 ha.
Medical marijuana is illegal in Serbia, with recent cases of arrests for possession.
“Also, we want every consumer to be able to buy up to 40gr per month in coffee shops using ID card so that there is no abuse. The consumption would be limited to the places of residence, coffee shops, and certain tourist sites, to protect minors from contact with cannabis before the age of eighteen. We see cannabis as a renewable resource that will completely reform the economy, improve medicine and reduce the crime rate in Montenegro.”, says Banović, who expects a rational and adequate reaction from the government bodies.
Cannabis laws in Croatia.
In North Macedonia, hemp cannot currently be legally cultivated or processed for any purpose. The use of non-viable hemp seeds is not restricted.
“As for the extraction and production of CBD and other cannabinoids, things got complicated in 2019 when inspections began to exercise stricter controls and refer to novel food. At that time, many small growers and processors were given a ban on production. Later, some revived production and are now somewhere in the gray zone. The situation is best for those who make products from imported raw materials. Despite many promises and attempts, matters are not settled because of a group of influential people in the Ministry of Health who are strongly opposed to any cannabis liberalization. They themselves do not know why, they generally reject all arguments,” he explained.
Before the 2nd World War, hemp cultivation spread on 11.500 ha of Croatian territory. From the 60s until the 90s, production was in constant decline and was completely shut down in 1995.
In Republika Srpska, hemp growing is regulated by the Narcotic Drugs Production and Trade Act from 2003, amended in 2004. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management is issuing licenses for hemp cultivation. The land has to be at least 1 ha in size. In January 2021, a new regulation from the Ministry of Agriculture came into effect, bringing more flexibility to seed import. Since 2018, there were more than a dozen licenses issued in Republika Srpska, but to this date, there are no hemp crops. The THC limit is 0.2%.
The sub-legal act was amended in 2012, and according to the new rules EU variety list was accepted. The growers were allowed to produce hemp only for food or feed.
“Our vision of legalization is to advance growing and processing cannabis, and thus to advance agriculture and industry, with state subsidies that would be given to the farmers, so that they can purchase materials and tools, while the state would benefit from collecting taxes on the sale of cannabis.”, says Nikola Banović, the executive director of Legalizuj.me.
He introduced a model in which a government agency would enable each citizen to grow up to three plants on their own, or through companies that would do the growing instead. So far, the government issued 59 licenses, he said.
Cannabis laws in Serbia: Hemp Growing, CBD and Medical Marijuana.
Countries of Southeast Europe have a long history of hemp cultivation. In 1949, ex- Yugoslavia was the third biggest hemp producer in the world, growing a total of 80.000 ha hemp crops. With a breakup of ex-Yugoslavia, the former federal republics – and now independent states – have different laws concerning hemp growing, CBD, and medical cannabis. Medical marijuana is legal in Croatia and North Macedonia, and some other countries might consider the same in the near future.
Since 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina is constituted by two entities – The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.
Medical cannabis is still not legal in Slovenia, but certain cannabinoid drugs, such as Sativex and Marinol, are approved for patients’ use. In theory, it is possible to obtain a doctor’s prescription for cannabis-based medicines. However, there are only a few doctors with adequate knowledge and willing to provide such prescriptions.
“Hemp can only be grown, while propagation is not allowed in any sense. We need to buy seeds from the EU variety list, and we are fighting against that. The Austrians do not have that obligation anymore, so we can not compete with them,” he said.
On the other hand, medical cannabis is legal since 2016, when the Act on Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychoactive Substances was amended. The decision had no political opposition and 70 percent support in public polls. The illegal production and sale of marijuana remain punishable by sentences of one to ten years in prison.
Cannabis laws in Montenegro.
“It is not right for someone to go to prison because he used half a gram of natural cannabis for personal use, at a time when everywhere in the world this herb is becoming legal for both medical and economic activities. This work is about to start in 2021 when we expect the parliament to debate. There will be a debate on the overall legalization by the end of June 2021, we will debate beforehand, we will hear the voice of the citizens, and then the parliament will act accordingly to the directions received from the citizens,” said Zaev at the presentation of the government plan “Action 21 – European standards at home”.
As he points out, biomass production and biomass processing into CBD products are on the rise in Croatia. “There are a significant number of large farmers who have many years of experience and technology for the production of top-quality biomass. There are currently several smaller manufacturers of CBD oils and cosmetics in Croatia. We are the largest and only manufacturer of ingredients, finished products, and cosmetics. We expect the validation of Novel Food documentation within a month in the UK (03/31) and registration in the EU in 2022,” he said.
“So far, we have had a situation where it was allowed to grow industrial hemp and to process the leaves and seeds of industrial hemp (not the flower), but it was not possible to import industrial hemp seeds. In January 2021, at the level of Republika Srpska, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management adopted a new regulation, which should enable a more manageable establishment of industrial hemp production. In the context of cultivation and competitiveness of BiH producers, a big problem is the industrial hemp variety list, which contains eight varieties of industrial hemp, and these are mostly obsolete. Also, I believe that the greatest added value comes from flower processing. The fact that the processing of industrial hemp flowers is prohibited in BiH means that the producers from BiH can hardly compete with producers from countries where the processing of industrial hemp flowers is allowed.,” he said.
In 2004, Slovenia joined the EU and allowed hemp cultivation for food and industrial purposes. Growing hemp is regulated by the Drugs Production and Trafficking Act, with the Ministry of Agriculture providing permits. Varieties from the EU list are allowed and should not exceed 0.2% THC. The regulations allow the classic production from seeds, and the fields need to have at least 10 acres for conventional farmers, or 1 are for organic growers. The hemp areas have stabilized at around 300 ha per year throughout Slovenia.
Between the two world wars, there were around 30 large and 10 smaller hemp processing factories in Serbia. Hemp was grown in the vicinity of Leskovac and Vranje, Bujanovac, Aleksinac and Kruševac. For export, it was grown in Bačka, Srijem and Vranjska Banja region. Today, there are around 1.500 ha hemp crops in Serbia.
Medical cannabis is illegal in both entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, recent statements from the members of parliament and local representatives in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina indicate there is no opposition to the legalization.
Pure CBD is not itself regulated as a substance under the Croatian drug regime, however, the various differences in terms of regulations for different products and uses mean that the current regime is fairly complex. This report provides a detailed overview of the current regulatory framework in place in the country, including finished products, extracts, import and export, as well as restrictions relating to medical and recreational cannabis also.
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As a proponent of a more liberal cannabis policy, you are often 1-0 behind in Europe. Progressive processes seem to stagnate or even come to a standstill. However, there are also countries in Europe where things are going better. One of those countries is Croatia.
In the former Yugoslavia, medicinal cannabis was legalized as early as 2015. The population and many politicians are more positive about the legalization of cannabis than in many other European countries. In Croatia, adults are allowed to grow up to 9 cannabis plants with high THClevels for personal use.
Growing or selling the plant or harvest has not yet been legalized. Attitudes towards cannabis are changing. The sale of CBD-weed with small amounts of thc is legal. Seeds may also be sold. However, when these are put in the ground in the country, the selling party of the seeds is still punishable. A strange construction that can be compared with the Dutch tolerance policy.
Cannabis Policy: CBD Weed and Seeds.
For the time being, many countries in Europe are not yet progressive when it comes to planning and implementing legalization. Despite the rapidly growing acceptance in society, there appear to be no political milestones for cannabis in sight.