Recreational: not legal, possession decriminalized
Recreational cannabis is not legal in Ukraine, but possession of up to 5 grams is decriminalized and there is a limited, but expanding, medical program.
Despite its illegal status, many residents of Ukraine have a laid-back approach to cannabis. A quick search on the internet will tell you how easy it typically is to secure cannabis in Kyiv, the capital city. Smoking in public parks is not uncommon, and many visitors report finding it relatively easy to get bud (quality, however, can be a different story.) Note that this information pre-dates the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and may not be accurate to the experience of visitors today.
Ukraine’s medical marijuana program
Ukraine has an existing medical cannabis program, but product access is extremely limited. As of June 2022, the Ukraine Health Minister introduced a bill to fully legalize medical cannabis for over 50 conditions.
For now, only a few drugs containing cannabis have been made available for public use; nabilon, nabiximols, and dronabionol. All are cost-prohibitive and contain only chemical copies of cannabinoids. Epiodiolex is not currently available, nor are any plants or plant-derived cannabinoids.
While getting a prescription is possible, it is a challenging process to find a physician, get a prescription and find medical cannabis products.
The path to medicinal cannabis began in 2019 when the Ukraine Association of Medical Cannabis created a petition, which got 25,000 signatures and was brought for consideration by the Parliamentary Committee. The petition was approved, but it was decided that a bill was not necessary. Instead, the Cabinet of Ministers could transfer cannabis from the list of banned substances to a list of controlled substances. Since this decision was made, only a few medications with synthetic cannabinoids have been made available to the public.
Possible penalties for weed in Ukraine
Cultivation and sale of cannabis plants are illegal in Ukraine. Cultivation of up to 10 plants is an administrative violation with a fine, and 10 – 50 plants is punishable with a fine and up to 6 months in jail.
Possession of up to 5 grams is decriminalized. Police in Ukraine are known to be semi-tolerant or open to bribes to ignore cannabis consumption. If you’re carrying 10 – 60 grams, you may have your cannabis confiscated, but carrying more than 60 grams can put you at risk of facing an intent to sell charge.
CBD regulations in Ukraine
The regulations surrounding CBD in Ukraine are unclear.
In June 2021, CBD isolate and isolate-based products were identified as non-controlled substances, making it a free and legal substance. However, this does not apply to CBD-rich flower. Additionally, industrial hemp growers are not allowed to produce extracts, including CBD.
Can you grow your own weed?
No, cultivation of cannabis plants is not allowed in Ukraine. If you are caught growing weed, you can face a fine and possible jail time, based on how many plants you’re growing. Having less than 10 plants is considered an administrative violation, but more than 10 plants mean you could face jail time.
Visiting Ukraine – can you buy or bring marijuana products?
A few minutes on your favorite search engine will turn up dozens of results, each proclaiming how easy it is to find cannabis flower in Ukraine, particularly Kyiv. Just head to your nearest park and look for the people who are smoking. Don’t make a scene or cause a ruckus, and the police will likely leave you alone. However, buying and selling cannabis remains illegal, so proceed at your own risk.
Do not attempt to fly with cannabis products. Not only is it a violation of all airline policies, but you could also land yourself in legal hot water by crossing international borders with cannabis products.