Is Weed Legal in Finland? (June 2023)
No, cannabis is not legal for recreational use in Finland. It is classified as a controlled substance, and the possession, sale, and use of cannabis are illegal. Finland has strict drug laws, and penalties for cannabis-related offenses can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.
However, it's worth noting that Finland has made some exceptions for medicinal cannabis. Since 2008, certain medical cannabis products have been available for specific medical conditions under strict regulations. Patients must obtain a prescription from a licensed physician, and the use of medical cannabis is closely monitored and regulated.
Finland is known as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes” due to its abundance of lakes. The country is renowned for its high-quality education system. Saunas are deeply ingrained in Finnish culture and are seen as a place for relaxation, socializing, and even conducting business meetings. The town of Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland is considered the official hometown of Santa Claus and attracts visitors from around the world who come to experience the enchantment of Christmas throughout the year.
Medical Cannabis in Finland
In Finland, medical cannabis is available for certain medical conditions under strict regulations. Medical cannabis is considered a prescribed medication, and patients must obtain a prescription from a licensed physician to access it. The prescription is typically issued for specific medical conditions where conventional treatments have been ineffective or have caused undesirable side effects. The Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) oversees the regulation and approval of medical cannabis products in the country. Currently, only Sativex is available and it is quite costly. About 250 patients have so far been able to access medical cannabis treatment.
Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in Finland?
No, recreational cannabis is not legal in Finland. Those found guilty of possession of large amounts, with intent to sell, can face up to ten years in prison.
Is Cannabis Decriminalized in Finland?
Close to 20 years ago, recognizing that the judicial system was burdened with personal cannabis use cases, Finland implemented reforms to address the handling of marijuana use. As a result, in practice, law enforcement often chooses to overlook personal use instances. However, police retain the option to issue summary fines, which are proportionate to the individual's income. Typically, these fines range from €60 to €80 for possessing under 10 grams of hash or 15 grams of weed.
Individuals who receive fines have the alternative to have their cases heard in court, where potential penalties of up to six months of imprisonment may be waived if the quantity of cannabis is deemed insignificant or if the defendant agrees to participate in a rehabilitation program. Nevertheless, a conviction will be recorded in police records, potentially posing challenges in completing education or securing employment.
In 2019, a petition advocating for the decriminalization of cannabis in Finland garnered significant support, with almost 60,000 Finnish citizens affixing their signatures. This exceeded the necessary threshold of 50,000 signatures, thereby prompting the parliament to take the matter into consideration. The parliament has until the conclusion of the current parliamentary term in 2023 to deliberate on this issue.
Is Hemp Legal in Finland?
Yes, hemp is legal to cultivate in Finland. Hemp cultivation is regulated under specific legislation and requires obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. Finland follows the European Union regulations regarding hemp cultivation, which mandate that hemp varieties grown must contain less than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content.
Hemp cultivation in Finland is primarily focused on industrial purposes, such as fiber production, seed production for food products, and extraction of cannabinoids for various applications. Hemp-derived products, such as CBD (cannabidiol) oil, are also available for purchase in Finland, provided they comply with the legal requirements regarding THC content and product labeling.
Is CBD Legal in Finland?
In Finland, CBD (cannabidiol) products are legal, for as long as they contain less than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. This THC limit is in line with the regulations set by the European Union for hemp-derived products. CBD products in Finland are primarily derived from industrial hemp. The hemp used for CBD production must be sourced from EU-approved hemp strains with low THC levels.
Over-the-Counter Sale: CBD products with less than 0.2% THC are available for purchase over-the-counter in Finland. These products can be found in various forms, including oils, capsules, topicals, and edibles, among others. However, it's important to note that the sale and marketing of CBD products are subject to certain labeling and quality requirements.
Novel Food Regulations: Finland, like other EU member states, follows the EU Novel Food regulations. This means that CBD-infused food products, such as beverages and edibles, may require authorization as novel foods before they can be legally marketed. These regulations aim to ensure the safety and proper labeling of new or non-traditional food products.
Will Finland Legalize Weed?
Finland has accommodative cannabis laws and there has been significant grassroot efforts towards legalizing cannabis in the country. It is highly likely that Finland will legalize cannabis fully in the near future.