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CBD and THC - Cannabis law in Finland

Cannabis law in Finland - CBD and THC

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As a member of the EU, Finland meticulously follows EU guidelines for hemp legislation. Both CBD and THC are permitted substances, but only in certain cases and as long as products containing them meet certain legal requirements. The Finnish people have further expressed a desire to significantly ease regulations on the recreational use of cannabis. At the request of citizens, the Finnish government is considering decriminalizing possession of marijuana for personal use. You can read about the extent to which decriminalization and other issues concerning the legality of cannabis in Finland later in this article.

Is CBD legal in Finland?

In matters of hemp law, Finland has consistently followed EU policy, implementing EU regulations in this area. The European Commission has set a fairly clear path for regulating CBD in terms of novel food procedures. Thus, the production and marketing of extracts and foods containing cannabidiol is legal in Finland, as long as the manufacturer meets certain requirements. The most important of these is that the final product must have less than 0.2% THC, a substance with psychoactive effects. Such a small amount of this compound is safe and will not cause an altered consciousness effect. The manufacturer must also not claim any medicinal properties of hemp extracts containing cannabidiol. In addition, such products must receive authorization. In order to market a product, a CBD company must submit an application to the Finnish Food Authority along with a certificate of product analysis. The authority may also ask for samples of the finished product for testing purposes. This procedure is to prove the safety, purity and percentage concentration of CBD and other compounds, including THC. Such a product is registered in a special database, making it easier to verify its contents during inspections.
In the event that you travel with your CBD oil, jelly or other CBD product, you can only legally bring it into Finland if it has the appropriate new food authorization in another European Union member state and contains less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol. In the case of Polish products, it should be borne in mind that not all products meet the 0.2% THC limit, as it has currently been raised to 0.3% in Poland. So it’s worth making sure that we are dealing with a product that meets both requirements before we head to Finland. Only then will we be able to legally use our CBD oil purchased outside the country. The other way is to purchase it within Finland. CBD extracts and other products containing them are widely available in health food stores and special hemp outlets.

Medical CBD in Finland

In addition to the commercial and recreational CBD market, Finland also allows medical cannabidiol hemp preparations available by prescription. CBD hemp medicines are controlled by the Finnish Medicines Agency (FIMEA), and can be obtained after consultation with a doctor, who selects the appropriate therapy and writes the appropriate prescription. CBD medications are only available in pharmacies. In this regard, medical products imported from abroad are illegal under Finnish law, especially since their permissible THC content may exceed 0.2%. Thus, importing a cannabidiol preparation for medical use from another country that is classified as an over-the-counter drug is not legal. In some cases, it is permissible to import medicines from the European Economic Area (EEA), after obtaining the appropriate authorization.

THC in Finland – legal aspects

Currently, THC is a banned substance under Finnish law, having been outlawed in 1972. Recreational use of marijuana is completely illegal. Possession, production and trafficking are strictly prohibited and punishable by penalties from the criminal code. Depending on the severity of the crime committed, a person in possession of cannabis faces between 1 and 7 years in prison. The criminal procedure after the 2001 reform also takes into account possession for personal consumption of up to 15 grams of THC-rich cannabis. These types of cases are handled differently, the penalties are much more lenient. A person who possesses cannabis for personal use is subject to a fine. In contrast, possession with intent to redistribute always goes to court, and the penalties are harsher. The situation is similar for the illegal cultivation of cannabis plants. Depending on the size of the crop, the plants are confiscated and the criminal case goes to court. Possession of cannabis during border control can result in inadmissibility to enter the country, deportation and a criminal case for smuggling.

Medical marijuana treatment in Finland

Finland legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes in 2008. So the use of medical marijuana is theoretically legal, but in a very limited form. In order to use cannabis for medical purposes, permission must first be obtained from a qualifying physician for a medical marijuana treatment program. This is not easy, as the use of cannabis for medical purposes is possible as a last treatment option after all pharmacological measures have already been tried. Most often, multiple sclerosis patients get approval. In this regard, Finnish law is quite restrictive. The number of people allowed to be treated with medical cannabis in Finland is very small, at around 500. They only have a choice of pharmaceuticals containing THC or CBD in their composition, for example, Sativex, Bedrocan, Bediol or Bedica.

The prospect of legalizing marijuana in Finland

The decriminalization or even legalization of the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is the subject of heated debate in Finland. Initiating the discussion in this regard is the Green League Party, which is a proponent of changing marijuana regulations in Finland. They have launched an initiative to decriminalize recreational use of cannabis. It includes regulating cannabis like other legal stimulants such as alcohol, as well as amnesty for those sentenced to serve jail time for cannabis possession. In contrast, another party, the National Coalition Party, wants to introduce the complete legalization of cannabis use in Finland. The Finnish media has been covering this topic a lot. Finland’s popular YLE portal, which engages in the topic of legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, addresses many of the problems that arise from the current legislation. Among other things, it points out that even a very occasional cannabis user can be caught and punished by the police or the judiciary, which has a significant impact on the lives of young people. The portal also conducted a survey of citizens regarding their views on cannabis use. As the results of the survey show, the majority of the Finnish public expressed support for legal regulation of cannabis.
In 2019, the Kasvua Kannabiksesta group prepared a petition to decriminalize the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use. They managed to collect 50,000 signatures and submitted the petition to those in power. As a result, the Finnish Government is seriously considering relaxing hemp laws. According to the petition, the possession of up to 25 grams of hemp and the cultivation of up to 4 plants per citizen would have no penalty and would be allowed by law only for personal use.

April 2023 – A citizens’ initiative to legalize cannabis has gained enough support from citizens

Green Party representatives have collected more than 50,000 signatures for their citizens’ initiative to legalize cannabis. According to the initiative’s procedure – politicians will now debate the legalization of cannabis in Finland. The initiative calls for the legalization of the use, possession, and cultivation for personal consumption of cannabis, but also for the creation of a free commercial market for recreational cannabis in Finland.

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