The Czech Republic has revealed its plan to legalize adult-use marijuana. Local news media outlets reported that the measure aimed at legalizing adult-use marijuana wouldn’t include regulations for a legal market. Expats.cz reported that the government tabled a draft marijuana regulation measure last week.
The Central European nation is among several other countries in Europe that are working on marijuana regulation. The country decriminalized the possession of marijuana for personal use in 2010, then legalized medical marijuana in 2013. However, the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal.
In 2022, the country publicized its plans to legalize adult-use marijuana, which included the creation of a legal market. With recent the news, however, it seems legalization will be limited to home cultivation, possession and the establishment of marijuana social clubs. One of the primary advocates of marijuana legalization in the country, the Pirate Party, said that the measure was a compromise and they were working out additions.
The proposed measure is part of the Czech government’s plan to address addiction via different initiatives. These include endorsing policy based on a scientifically proven and balanced approach to harm reduction and risk prevention in addiction management, as well as the regulation of addictive drugs based on their levels of harm.
The revised measure has already received criticism from the public, primarily centering on legalization without the establishment of a legal market.
Cannabis associations in the country noted in a joint press release that the lack of a regulated market failed to tackle the illicit market, which continued to make significant profits. However, this sentiment isn’t shared by all. Dr. Tomas Ryska, Astrasana Czechs MD, stated in a recent interview that the lack of regulation for a legal cannabis market is part of the plan.
The plan’s objective was to pressure the Christian and Democratic Union, give rise to negative sentiment in the media and demonstrate that citizens weren’t happy with legalization without the establishment of a regulated market.
The Christian and Democratic Union is the only party that opposes the creation of a legal marijuana market. In its argument, the party raised concerns about the possible increase in marijuana users and funds spent on addiction-prevention and treatment programs.
However, JindřichVobořil has consistently asserted that the market’s regulation can control sales, distribution and production, which would make prevention more effective while also generating tax revenues.
According to Ryska, the government plans to pursue the creation of a legal market in the near future.
Players that are in already established cannabis markets such as Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) will be watching the developments in the Czech Republic as those regulatory changes could eventually open international opportunities for these companies.
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