Medical: technically legal, no access
Recreational cannabis is not legal in Hungary. Medical cannabis is technically legal, but there is no legal structure for growing, processing, buying, selling, or getting a prescription for it.
Cannabis in Hungary
Hungary’s laws don’t differentiate between cannabis and harder drugs. More than half of the country’s drug law offenses in 2017 were related to cannabis, and according to Hungarian law, both drug use and possession are punishable by up to two years in prison.
Cannabis is the most commonly-used illicit substance in Hungary, though reports estimate the consumption level in young adults hovers around 3.5%, far lower than the European average. The country is so anti-cannabis, they voted against a UN resolution twice that would pave the way for global medical cannabis, in opposition to the rest of the EU.
Cannabis is illegal in all forms in Hungary. The country has strict drug laws that were updated in 2013 to make punishments stronger. Hungary makes no differentiation between cannabis and other drugs like heroin. Growing, buying, and selling the plant can carry harsh jail time, between 8 years to life in prison.
Hungarian law does draw a distinction between selling, consuming, and carrying for personal use. The amount of cannabis defined as “personal use” is determined by the THC percentage. An amount between 1- 6 grams of THC can be considered personal use, and may result in court-ordered drug therapy rather than jail time, but can carry up to two years in jail. If you are caught possessing cannabis multiple times within the same two-year period, you are no longer eligible for treatment. Consumption is a separate charge and a criminal offense, punishable by up to two years in jail. In 2017, over half of all drug-related charges were cannabis use and possession.
Some internet sleuths report being able to bribe the police to let them off if they’re caught with small amounts of cannabis or being high, but don’t count on this.
Medical marijuana in Hungary
Hungary has no medical marijuana program, but technically, medical marijuana is legal.
The Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition does allow the use of certain cannabis medications, like Marinol, for people with multiple sclerosis.
However, there is no legal framework to grow, process, sell or buy the plant. Most doctors in Hungary will not issue a prescription for medical cannabis, and there is no way to fill a prescription. Because of this, accessing these medications is difficult, very expensive, and considered only for the wealthy. The Hungarian Medical Cannabis Association is pushing the government to create a regulatory framework for a national medical program.
A 2019 study found that 60% of Hungarians support a legal and regulated medical cannabis program.
CBD is not a controlled substance and is legal in Hungary as long as it contains 0.2% or less THC, per EU standards. Although industrial hemp has long been cultivated in the country, the industry came to a standstill under Soviet rule. Hemp cultivation is legal again and growers can process the plant into CBD oil.
As a member of the EU, Hungary is beholden to the 2020 EU Court ruling that determined CBD and its products were not narcotics, so “a country of the European Union cannot prohibit the marketing of cannabidiol legally produced in another member state.”
Can you grow your own weed?
No, you cannot grow cannabis plants in Hungary. Industrial hemp cultivation is legal, but heavily regulated by the government.
Visiting Hungary – can you buy or bring marijuana products?
You cannot bring cannabis into or legally buy the plant in Hungary. Since weed is illegal, there is a black market for drugs, but you should approach this with caution. Police are known for stopping people they simply suspect are high, and punishments for being caught with drugs or being high can be steep.