Recreational cannabis is not legal in Poland and the plant is still legally considered a narcotic. The country has strict prohibition laws, and violating these can come with fines or hefty jail sentences. Poland established a medical cannabis program in 2017, which allows for a range of cannabis products to be prescribed for a range of medical conditions.
Poland and cannabis
Poland has a reputation as a conservative country in Europe, and this attitude carries over to cannabis. Public consumption of cannabis is rare and Polish people who smoke typically do so in the privacy of their own homes.
While the plant has deep roots in the country and was used throughout history, it was prohibited in the 20th century. Prior to prohibition in the 1950s, Poland had a strong hemp industry, but only recently has the Polish government opened up the opportunity to grow cannabis plants again.
Attitudes towards legalization are slowly shifting. A 2020 Kantar poll found that 55% of respondents don’t believe a small amount of cannabis should be worthy of jail time but only 21% believed cannabis should be fully legal.
Possible penalties for cannabis
Being caught with cannabis (or any other illegal substance) in Poland means you could face up to three years in jail. While prosecutors have the ability to dismiss charges for small amounts of personal possession, they don’t have to. If you get caught with large amounts of cannabis or the police suspect you have intent to sell, you could face anywhere from six months to 12 years in prison.
Poland’s medical cannabis program
Medical cannabis has been legal in Poland since 2017. Patients must have a doctor’s prescription as well as permission from a regional pharmaceutical inspector to obtain cannabis products. Prescriptions are strain-specific and can be filled at one of 15,000 pharmacies, but these are more readily available in urban areas than rural ones. Medical patients are also responsible for 100% of the cost of medication, making it cost-prohibitive to many.
Qualifying conditions include chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, chemo-induced nausea, and treatment-resistant epilepsy. But this is not an exhaustive list, and other qualifying conditions are left to the doctor’s discretion. Pharmacies can sell flower, tinctures, resin, concentrates, oil, and non-herbal forms of medicine.
Poland’s medical program also has a supply problem. Up until 2022, no cannabis was grown in Poland so all products had to be imported, which led to massive delays in patients being able to access medication. In March 2022, an new act was passed to allow the growing, harvesting, and processing of hemp in Poland for medical products, marking the first steps toward a Poland-based supply chain for medical patients.
Is CBD legal in Poland?
CBD is not a controlled substance in Poland, and you can find both CBD and CBD products for sale, including flower, oil, tinctures, and food additives. These products are typically more accessible in larger cities.
Can you grow your own weed?
No, you cannot grow your own cannabis plants in Poland. There are exceptions for hemp plants within certain industries.
Visiting Poland – can you buy or bring marijuana products?
Do not count on being able to buy cannabis during a visit to Poland. While many countries in Europe have decriminalized the plant, it remains illegal in Poland. The quality of cannabis you’re able to buy off the street as a tourist won’t be high, and you shouldn’t smoke in public unless you want trouble with the police.
As for bringing your own products, you should never cross international borders with cannabis.
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