A few days before “420,” or World Cannabis Day, Czech cannabis enthusiasts may have another reason to smile. The Czech Republic plans to introduce a newly regulated cannabis market, which will allow the purchase of up to 150 grams of cannabis per month for recreational purposes, as well as legalize its cultivation and distribution.
The newspaper Seznam Zprávy reports that a project to regulate the cannabis market is being prepared in the Czech Republic. Consumers will have to register, sellers and producers will pay annual license fees, and the state will earn hundreds of millions of zlotys.
In 2010. The Czech Republic decriminalized the possession of fewer than 10 grams of cannabis for personal use and the cultivation of five plants at home. Although possession of cannabis for personal use is decriminalized, sale and distribution remain illegal. The new regulations aim to address the distribution problem.
According to the country’s anti-drug coordinator, Jindřich Vobořil, the goal of the market regulation project is to better protect consumers and have greater control over the quality and quantity of cannabis on the market. The introduction of the regulation will also increase tax revenues to the state budget.
As part of the plan for a regulated cannabis market, license fees and a tax on cannabis will be introduced, which will work similarly to an excise tax.
Read more about the legalization of cannabis in the Czech Republic and find other important cannabis news with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Multimillion-dollar revenues for the Czech Republic
It is estimated that annual revenues from the hemp tax alone in the Czech market could be as high as $95 million (400 million zlotys). Additional revenues are possible from exports, such as to some European countries that have already announced the legalization of hemp or are experimenting with a legal market for recreational hemp, such as Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
Jindřich Vobořil explains that in regulating the market, they do not want to limit the number of licenses for sale and cultivation. Licenses will be granted on the basis of an application and payment of a regular annual fee, which will range from CZK 50,000 (~£10000) for a smaller store. The fee will be based on the area of the cultivation or store.
“Cultivating cannabis in larger areas can amount to hundreds of thousands of crowns per year. Pharmacies will be exempt from the fee. With this, we plan to be able to collect up to half a billion crowns in fees annually,” said Vobořil.
Under the regulations, adults will be able to buy cannabis in licensed stores.
Limit of 5 grams of cannabis per person per day
The current draft provides for a limit of between 3 and 5 grams per person per day. Customers will have to enter their details in a special register. However, the maximum amount is still under discussion. Like the limit, the user registry itself is also being debated, and many specialists have reservations about its introduction.
There are also doubts about the cannabinoid content of cannabis. In the case of cannabidiol (CBD), a group of experts is considering whether products should contain a minimal amount of this substance to “reduce the risk of anxiety and other negative psychological conditions.” This is opposed by some manufacturers, who note that this has not yet been confirmed by any studies.
Also at issue is a limit on the maximum concentration of THC in the plant, which should be between 18 and 20 percent. If a controlled cannabis market can be introduced, the Czech Republic will have a market of up to 150 tons of dried cannabis per year.
Details of the regulation are to be discussed in a government debate. A bill is then planned to be introduced in parliament. A controlled cannabis market would be expected to bring many benefits, such as a decrease in crime related to drug trafficking, greater control over the quality and purity of the products on offer, as well as contribute to economic growth.
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First published in Fakty Konpne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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