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Is Weed Legal in Russia? (December 2023)

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No, cannabis is not legal in Russia. The possession, sale, and use of cannabis are strictly prohibited in the country. Russia has some of the most stringent drug laws in the world, and the cultivation, distribution, and possession of cannabis can result in severe legal consequences, including imprisonment.

About Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world, spanning across both Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It covers approximately one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. Russia shares its borders with 14 countries and has coastlines along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas. It is abundant in natural resources, including vast reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, and minerals. Industries like oil and gas, mining, manufacturing, and agriculture play crucial roles in the country's economy.

Medical Cannabis in Russia

The use of raw cannabis for medical purposes is strictly prohibited in Russia, as it is classified as a narcotic and psychoactive substance listed under List I. The government maintains strict control over the circulation of substances listed in this category.

The law does allow for the conversion of drugs listed in List I, including cannabis, into other substances, either for medical or veterinary use or as non-narcotic substances. However, this opportunity is restricted to government enterprises that meet specific requirements and is not available to private companies.

Licensed government enterprises can utilize cannabis as a “raw material” and process it into other controlled substances subject to less restrictive regulations. However, using cannabis itself as a medicine is not permitted.

In July 2019, a new law was enacted in Russia to amend the existing Law on Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances. This law partially legalized the cultivation of plants containing drugs for the production of narcotic and psychoactive substances for medical or veterinary purposes. However, the specific plants allowed for cultivation do not include cannabis, despite initial expectations.

As a result, currently, patients do not have legal access to cannabis for medical use in Russia.

Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in Russia?

Recreational cannabis is illegal in Russia.

Violations of cannabis circulation regulations can lead to criminal charges under various articles of the Russian Criminal Code. Unauthorized manufacturing, sale, or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic substances, their analogues, or plants containing such substances, including cannabis, is punishable under Article 228.1 of the Russian Criminal Code.

The penalties for such offenses vary based on factors like the volume or weight of the cannabis involved, whether the crime was committed by an individual or an organized criminal group, and other circumstances. Convicted individuals may face sentences ranging from eight to twenty years of imprisonment, and in cases involving particularly large quantities (more than 10kg) or serious offenses, even life imprisonment.

Violations of the specific regulations governing the circulation of narcotic and psychotropic substances can also result in penalties under Article 228.1 of the Russian Criminal Code. In the most severe cases, where such violations cause harm, individuals may face imprisonment of up to three years and disqualification for the same period.

Is Hemp Legal in Russia

Yes, hemp containing less than 0.1% THC is legal to cultivate in Russia. In 2019, a law was enacted in Russia allowing for the cultivation of certain plants containing drugs, including hemp, for the production of narcotic and psychoactive substances for medical or veterinary use. The Russian government has specified a list of permitted plants for cultivation through a regulation issued in February 2020. However, it's important to note that the cultivation of hemp in Russia is strictly regulated, and specific licenses and permits are required. The use of hemp for other purposes, such as industrial uses or as a food product, may have additional regulations and restrictions.

Is CBD Legal in Russia?

The laws on CBD in Russia are not clear and it is not easy to come by CBD products being sold in Russia.

Will Russia Legalize Weed?

There are no signs indicating that Russia is about to legalize cannabis. But should anything change, we will be sure to update you.