CBD and THC in Luxembourg
Transparent regulations and a tax haven are just some of Luxembourg’s assets, attracting entrepreneurs. Hemp businesses are also growing rapidly there. Luxembourg has a fairly liberal policy regarding the conduct of hemp businesses, as well as the consumption of CBD and THC. What do Luxembourg’s laws say about fiber and cannabis hemp? What plans does the government have in the context of the hemp industry? Read more in the rest of the article.
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Luxembourg’s hemp market
Although industrial hemp was legalized in Luxembourg as early as 2008, the country does not boast extensive hemp cultivation. This is not surprising, given the country’s area. However, this has not been an obstacle to the dynamic development of the hemp industry. Indeed, the fact is that the country has quite a lot to offer hemp entrepreneurs. Hemp regulations are very clear and favorable for entrepreneurs. It’s easy to set up a hemp business here, the authorities allow not only cultivation, but also import and export of industrial hemp and hemp products, provided they meet the maximum THC concentration requirement, which in this country is 0.3%. Luxembourg has a thriving hemp industry, there are a lot of CBD companies here, including food companies, industrial hemp companies and clothing companies. The country is one of the richest in Europe, and a haven for business due to its very low tax rate – especially compared to neighboring countries. Luxembourg’s and Europe’s cannabis laws are different – which is quite an advantage for many entrepreneurs.
In addition to the government’s liberal approach, cannabis products are quite popular in Luxembourg. There is also much more social acceptance of cannabis consumption than in other European countries. The people of Luxembourg are in favor of liberal policies, with cannabis being very close to them as well. A 2018 survey found that nearly one-fifth of adults in the country (19%) had used cannabis at least once in their lives, and 6% had used it within the past year. When Luxembourg announced plans to legalize cannabis in 2018, it was expected to be the first European country to do so. Due to various delays, the title of pioneer in legalizing THC went to Malta (see: Cannabis legalization in Malta) – yet the Luxembourg government still plans to introduce full legalization by the end of 2023.
Legal status of the CBD in Luxembourg
Luxembourg authorities appreciate the potential that CBD has. The Minister of Health there has even gone so far as to say that both CBD and THC, have been shown to have a positive effect(1) on the treatment of certain conditions and citizens should have wide access to them. Luxembourg law does not recognize fiber hemp and CBD as drugs, and they are permitted to be sold, produced, processed and grown. CBD and products containing this cannabinoid, such as oils, foods, cosmetics, medicines, are completely legal in the country. Entrepreneurs can easily start their own CBD business, such as an oil store. The procedure is much more simplified than in other European countries. The condition is that the THC content in raw materials and final products does not exceed 0.3%. So in Luxembourg, we can buy hemp and CBD products from local companies without a problem.
There are some restrictions related to the consumption and sale of CBD. For example, there is a ban on advertising them as medicinal or medical products. It is interesting to note that such products are only available for adults, including for medical purposes. Besides, dried hemp is allowed to be smoked, but only in tobacco-free products – then they qualify as herbal cigarettes, as long as the THC content is below 0.3%, of course. Police are even issuing special messages to drivers consuming such cigarettes to be cautious and careful with the amount of hemp. In the event of an inspection, an officer can test the THC level in the blood, which can be no more than 1 ng/ml. Exceeding it will be considered an offense, according to Luxembourg traffic regulations.
Is THC legal in Luxembourg ?
Luxembourg authorities announced the legalization of THC some time ago. However, the deadline has been postponed until 2023. At this point, possession of tetrahydrocannabinol remains illegal, but small amounts are allowed for personal use, which is not a crime there. Possession and use of cannabis was decriminalized quite a long time ago, in 2001. That’s when the government reclassified marijuana as a Category B (less dangerous) substance. This means that a person caught with marijuana for personal use will not receive a prison sentence, but only a fine. The exception may be consuming marijuana near school facilities or around minors. Then the person may face a prison sentence.
There are 3 Luxembourg parties involved in the legalization proposal: the Democratic Party, the Luxembourg Socialist Workers Party and the Greens. The legalization of recreational use of cannabis in the country is to include the possibility for adult citizens to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use. It will also be possible to grow up to 4 plants – exclusively for people over 18. The cannabis is to be produced in Luxembourg, and its sellers will have to hold special licenses. Along with legalization, the country plans to allow domestic players to grow cannabis for the medical and recreational markets. In addition, proceeds from the sale of cannabis are to be used to fund community campaigns promoting drug abuse prevention and raising awareness of the dangers of drug abuse.
What are the penalties for possession of THC in Luxembourg?
Current law does not permit the trafficking and production of marijuana. Yet no distinction is made between offenses based on their scale. The punishment is the same for small-scale and large-scale sales and production. At the moment, trafficking is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine. The punishment is increased to five, 10 or even 20 years in prison if the drug has caused serious damage to someone’s health, including death. Despite decriminalization, consumption in a public place is punishable in Luxembourg. This is worth bearing in mind – a fine can cost up to 2,500 euros. If consumption occurs in a place where there are children, or there is consumption of marijuana by minors – then the adult faces a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years and a fine of up to €25,000. There is a possibility of a lighter sentence if the convicted person agrees to undergo treatment.
Medical marijuana in Luxembourg
Luxembourg citizens can officially treat themselves with medical marijuana since 2012. A drug called Sativex was made available then. It wasn’t until 2017 that access to dried medical cannabis was legalized, allowing patients to take THC extracts and medical extracts. The drug now also comes in capsule and vaporization oil form. During the 2-year pilot program, high interest in the treatment among the community and positive effects of the therapy were found. Already in 2019 – 2 years after the changes were introduced – 120 patients were prescribed 7 kg of dried hemp. Currently, the drug is available by prescription from doctors of various specialties. Initially, medical marijuana was offered only at certified hospital pharmacies, while in 2020 coverage was expanded to all pharmacies to provide better access for people in rural areas. The price of dried cannabis is still quite a barrier. Since the start of the program, Luxembourg has entered into agreements with three Canadian cannabis companies – Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth and Tilray – which are the exclusive suppliers of medical marijuana in Luxembourg. The planned introduction of a national market for cannabis cultivation could enable lower medical costs for patients.
Summary – CBD and THC in Luxembourg
Luxembourg, with its rather tolerant and liberal policy towards hemp, is attracting hemp entrepreneurs. Luxembourg’s industrial hemp laws differ slightly from those in Europe, to the benefit of entrepreneurs. As for cannabis, on the other hand, Luxembourg plans to legalize it by the end of 2023.
Hemp products with CBD are ubiquitous in Luxembourg and can be bought there without any problem, provided that the concentration of THC in them does not exceed 0.3%. They can be produced and marketed there without any problem. The only restriction is that their medicinal properties cannot be promoted – no mention that CBD products cure can be found on the packaging of hemp products, for example.
Is THC legal out there? Possession of cannabis for personal use in Luxembourg is decriminalized. This means that if you are inspected and caught in possession of small amounts of THC-rich cannabis, you will not be sentenced to jail, but only receive a fine. The exception is consuming cannabis in the vicinity of minors, in which case you could face jail time. This, however, is set to change. Luxembourg is planning to legalize marijuana. According to the plan, it will be possible to grow up to 4 bushels of marijuana per person and to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana without fear of legal consequences. It will also be possible for companies that obtain special permits to grow medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana treatment has been possible in Luxembourg since 2012. However, it is only since 2017 that medical dried cannabis can be purchased at a pharmacy there. Currently, medical marijuana medicines from three cannabis companies – Aurora Cannabis, Tilray and Canopy Growth – are available on the Luxembourg market.