Amendment the Addictive Substances Act and liberalization of the cannabis industry in the Czech Republic
With the New Year, an amendment to the Addictive Substances Act (Act No. 167/1998 Coll.) enters into force. The Amendment is in many respects ground-breaking for entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. The amendment is the result of the efforts of MPs to simplify the availability of non-hallucinogenic and non-addictive cannabis products.
The limit for THC content in industrial cannabis will be increased from 0.3 percent to 1 percent.
At present, only industrial cannabis (hemp) containing no more than 0.3 percent of substances from the tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) group could be grown without a special permit. However, industrial cannabis containing up to 1 percent THC will now be able to be grown without a permit. At the same time, growers will no longer have to prove the THC content of their industrial cannabis plants if they use certified seeds listed in the EU catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species.
All industrial cannabis substances with a THC content of up to 1 percent that do not have narcotic effects will be exempted from the substance abuse regime.
As a follow-up and one of the most significant changes for entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry, industrial cannabis extracts and tinctures containing up to 1 percent THC will be exempted from the substance abuse regime. However, this only applies if they meet the safety condition of the General Product Safety Act and, in particular, are not hallucinogenic. It has clarified the grey area that has hitherto prevailed for cannabis products.
The law also now explicitly recognizes the possibility of processing industrial cannabis for food or cosmetic purposes.
“A handling license is not required for the handling of industrial cannabis plants or industrial cannabis, in particular for industrial, food, cosmetic, technical or horticultural purposes.”
Thus, we can expect to see a proliferation of CBD cosmetics in the future, including various emulsions and creams and CBD tinctures used as dietary supplements.
The removal of industrial cannabis with up to 1 percent THC and its products from the substance abuse regime will make it much easier to import as well as no import permits will be required.
The administrative and financial burden on medical cannabis growers will be reduced
Currently, it is almost impossible to obtain a license for the production of medicinal cannabis in the Czech Republic. However, from the New Year, private entities will be able to obtain a license for the production of medicinal cannabis after proving good manufacturing practices. The administrative and financial burden on entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry will be significantly reduced and we can thus expect a gradual liberalization of the entire cannabis market in the Czech Republic.
rutland&partners boasts extensive experience in the relevant legislation and offers comprehensive legal services to manufacturers or suppliers of cannabis products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
JUDr. Monika Rutland, Partner
rutland & partners, law firm
Tel: +420 226 226 026