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Legality of cannabis in Estonia

Legality of hemp in Estonia

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Estonia is a beautiful country with rich nature, which has another interesting attraction to offer its tourists. Consumption of cannabis has been decriminalized there, making the country a very attractive destination for all lovers of the plant. What exactly does hemp regulation look like in Estonia? Can we legally buy CBD products and marijuana there? These and other information can be found in the rest of the article.

Hemp cultivation in Estonia

Hemp is a plant with a long history of cultivation in Estonia, especially for the purpose of obtaining fiber or seeds. In the mid-20th century, cultivation was halted for legal reasons. Today, the industry is growing again, with more than 6,800 hectares (16,000 acres) under hemp cultivation. The crop is legal as long as EU-certified seeds of varieties containing less than 0.3% THC have been used. The most popular crops here are fiber hemp for fiber or seed. It is relatively difficult to grow industrial varieties for inflorescences and leaves, due to the very unfavorable climatic conditions in the country. In the case of dioecious plants, as a result of the changeable climate and white nights, unwanted pollination of the inflorescences and the formation of seeds often occur, which inhibit the growth of the most valuable parts – the flowers. It’s also more difficult to keep THC levels at the allowed level, because changing temperatures cause a lot of stress to the plants, which increases the production of tetrahydrocannabinol. This fact was one of the reasons why, in September 2022, the rulers changed the regulations on the maximum limit of tetrahydrocannabinol contained in the plant, raising it from 0.2% to 0.3%. After this change, cannabis grown from EU-certified seeds or containing less than 0.3% THC is excluded from the legal definition of cannabis in Estonia. This means that they can be legally grown throughout the country.

CBD in Estonia

Both buying, and selling, CBD products is completely legal in Estonia. Provided, of course, that the hemp-infused products were created from a legal seed hemp crop, and that the final product contains less than 0.3% THC. The popular CBD extract in oil form is available there as a dietary supplement, just like vitamins or minerals sold in health food stores. The government has placed no restrictions on the sale or use of CBD oil and it can be purchased in many stores, markets, gas stations and also in pharmacies across the country. Hemp extracts containing CBD are also legal for use in hemp cosmetics and food. However, these products cannot be advertised as medicines or products suitable for children, only as dietary supplements.

CBD oil available at the pharmacy can be purchased without a prescription. As a member of the EU, Estonia has implemented legal standards for the 2020 EU Court ruling, which states that CBD and its products are not drugs. Thus, as a member state, it allows products containing cannabidiol, legally produced in another member state, to be marketed in the country. The domestic market and production of hemp preparations also have a lot to offer. We can get CBD in Estonia in various forms: oils, tinctures, capsules, cosmetics or hemp food products. When buying CBD products in the country, it is worth remembering that the THC contained in them may exceed the maximum allowable limit of this substance in other countries.

Is THC legal in Estonia?

According to the Estonia Country Drug Report 2019 survey, about 14% of people between the ages of 15 and 35 regularly consume marijuana. This places Estonia 28th among the 30 countries in the world whose residents consume the most marijuana. Certainly, these social behaviors, including condoning the possession and consumption of cannabis, have contributed to the decriminalization of marijuana in the country. This means that being on Estonian territory, one does not face criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of THC-rich cannabis, as long as one has it for personal use. The law defines a small amount as no more than 7.5 grams of dried cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC. If this amount is exceeded, or if there is a reasonable suspicion that the dried cannabis is not for personal use, a person can receive a fine of 800 to 1,200 euros. Possession of medical cannabis without a valid medical prescription faces similar consequences. THC is still considered an illegal substance in Estonia. Commercial cannabis trafficking and production is punishable by imprisonment or community service.

When visiting Estonia, it is important to remember that despite decriminalization, cannabis cannot be consumed in public places, as it can be a nuisance to those around you. It is also illegal to consume cannabis near schools, kindergartens and around school playgrounds. Despite public approval of cannabis consumption, it is necessary to use common sense and respect the prevailing customs. Otherwise, despite the liberal laws, you can get into trouble with the police.

Are hemp therapies allowed in Estonia?

Undertaking cannabis therapy is possible in Estonia, but only with a doctor’s prescription. In the case of the medical marijuana patient program, there are no set conditions to qualify for it, other than a clear indication from a doctor. He or she will have to justify or indicate that the patient in question can safely use medical marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Estonian law states that if, in the doctor’s opinion, the use of cannabis is indicated in the treatment of the patient’s condition, can be effective against the patient’s disease and will give little side effects, then its inclusion in the treatment is justified and needed. The country’s Ministry of Social Affairs is responsible for issuing medical marijuana cards to citizens. If a medical marijuana patient’s status is approved in another member country, he or she also has the option of receiving the drug in Estonia upon presentation of a statement to that effect, or using a medical preparation acquired in another country.

Medical marijuana in Estonia

Estonia allowed its citizens to be treated with medical cannabis back in 2005. The law was one of the first of its kind in Europe, but it has many flaws. The country does not have its own medical cannabis production program, nor does it make it available to its patients. They have only cannabinoid-based medicines available to them, usually in the form of synthetic compounds that achieve much weaker pharmacological efficacy. Prescriptions for patients are issued individually for each patient by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Admittedly, there is a special procedure for legitimate medical cases, when a doctor can issue an application stating that the use of a drug in the form of dried cannabis is necessary for a patient’s disease entity. This goes to the drug control authority, which will then have to assess whether the patient’s use of dried cannabis is justified or not.


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