Czechia Unveils Draft Law on Cannabis

Stephen Andrews
19 Jan 2024

Last year, the Czech government presented plans for a regulated cannabis market where users would be permitted to consume up to 5 grams of weed recreationally per day, and legalize home cultivation and distribution of the plant. Work on the plan has since continued, and on Jan. 10, the country’s lawmakers revealed a draft version of the bill.

Czech lawmakers issued a proposal where they outline the rules for legal marijuana cultivation, the management of cannabis clubs, licensed retail and exports, and taxation. The draft bill also details restrictions that would apply for sales and production, and further proposes a registration system for users and small farmers. 

“We have agreed on the self-cultivation of a limited number of plants. This will mean decriminalization for adults who grow a small amount of cannabis for their own use,” the National Coordinator for Drug Policy Jindřich Vobořil said in a statement for the news outlet

Vobořil noted that this version of the bill hasn’t been seen by the government yet, and it might include an additional proposal for cannabis associations where members could share a harvest. 

“At present, cannabis is decriminalized in Czechia, but using it recreationally is illegal,” Vobořil said. “Czechia has one of the more liberal stances on cannabis in Europe, with people in Czechia even allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants at home for personal use. The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been legal for 10 years in Czechia,” he added. 

Legalization Proponents Say the Bill is a ‘Compromise Version’

The Czech Pirate Party, which has cannabis legalization on its agenda since joining the government in 2021, described the new bill as a “compromise version.” A statement from the party said that they will lobby for other significant issues to be covered in the bill as well. 

The same party started the drafting of Czechia’s cannabis legalization law back in October 2022. “Reform, regulation, taxation - these are the three pillars with which we as Pirates approach the regulation of the cannabis market,” a party statement said at the time. 

“By taxing, we will raise billions of euros a year while avoiding unnecessary spending on repression. In addition, if we manage to launch the regulated market together with the German one, it will mean huge export opportunities for our economy,” the statement said. 

The Pirates also advocate legalization of other drugs for medicinal use, including mushrooms, ecstasy and LSD.

“Similar to the current practice of cannabis prescriptions, specialized medical workplaces would be able to prescribe the [above] substances,” party member Tomáš Vymazal recently told local media.

“The mushrooms are very useful for soldiers returning from foreign missions and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” Vymazal said. 

But political parties across the board would not be so easy to convince. Most of them are generally opposed to the idea of legalizing any substances, including cannabis. 

“We have long opposed the idea of marijuana becoming part of retail and wholesale trade, but we don’t see the point of unnecessarily persecuting people who grow a few plants for their own use,” said Jan Bartošek, a representative of KDU-ČSL (translated to the Christian and Democratic Union). 

Something will need to be done in terms of advancing the law, however. The Czech Cabinet has committed to address an ongoing addiction crisis in the country with a plan that persists through 2025 and foresees the establishment of a legal adult-use cannabis market, among other measures. 

Advocacy organizations such as, CzecHemp, and the Safe Cannabis Association have all expressed support for the recent legalization bill proposal, but also pointed out various gaps in the draft version, including the lack of strict regulation how to deal with illegal cannabis cultivators. 

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Stephen Andrews