By / September 3, 2019

The laws surrounding medical cannabis: key moments

In Ukraine, the laws about medical cannabis lay the groundwork for the entire industry. Cannabis cultivation, research, drug preparation, and clinical research. For this to work, MPs also propose to amend seven laws. They also need to amend the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses.

What is medical cannabis? 

The law does not contain the phrase “medical cannabis.” Instead, other definitions apply. For convenience, we will further refer to two definitions, known as “technical” and “medical” cannabis.

“Cannabis plants containing no narcotic substances in dangerous quantities (so-called “technical” varieties of hemp, dried straw containing up to 0.08% of psychoactive THC).”

The law also defines cannabis that contains narcotic substances in “dangerous quantities.” They are not subject to decriminalization.

Cannabis plant
The “technical” type of cannabis produced. (Source)

Who can grow it and how? 

All entrepreneurs can grow “technical” cannabis varieties. Non-licensed academic institutions and educational institutions will be able to grow “technical” cannabis without restriction. In contrast, “medical” cannabis will be allowed in small quantities (up to 50 plants). Also, they will have the right to manufacture cannabis preparations and to conduct their clinical research.

Moreover, patients can grow up to four cannabis plants based on a medical report and a doctor’s prescription. People have to inform authorities within five days before the start of the process. National police can check compliance at any time.

It is possible to grow medical cannabis with seeds from approved suppliers. There are no quotas for growing medical cannabis. Furthermore, businesses can receive a government subsidy for the industrial production of hemp.

Handling and storage

People may use medical cannabis for industrial, scientific, educational and medical purposes. Also, a person growing cannabis can store up to four plants. It is also possible to sell cannabis either directly through the manufacturer or through a licensed pharmacy.

Institutions and colleges that use medical cannabis for scientific and educational purposes must store all components in specially equipped theft-protected premises. If these conditions are violated, the institution loses the right to continue using cannabis all drugs and plants are withdrawn.

A license for the marketing of “medical” marijuana for industrial purposes is issued for a period of 5 years. The price can go up to $7,000 for 1000 plants and $37,000 for more than 1,000 plants per hectare.

Finally, you can import and export through the state border. Moreover, you can transport cannabis and hemp with a low content of narcotic substance.

Hemp leaves
You can transport cannabis and hemp with a low content of narcotic substance. (Source)

Criminal liability

A person caught transporting cannabis over the border, purchased on their own prescription, is exempt from criminal liability.

The amendments to Articles 310 and 320 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code eliminates criminal liability for the cultivation and circulation of “technical” and “medical” cannabis.

(Featured image by Roberto Valdivia)

First published in hromadske, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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