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is cbd oil legal in bulgaria

… But It's Also a Crime.

However, THC and its isomers, delta 6a (10a), delta 6a (7), delta 7, delta 8, delta 10, delta 9 (11) (and their stereochemical variants) are classified and listed as narcotic substances on the List of Plants and Substances Presenting a High Risk to Public Health Due to the Harmful Effects of the Abuse Thereof (the “List”) under the NSPCA. As the definition of a "narcotic substance" includes all substances on the List, products containing THC are classified as "preparations." Under the applicable Bulgarian law, preparations are subject to the same control measures as narcotic substances, and police and customs authorities are thus obliged to seize any preparations containing THC which are produced, processed, acquired, stored, used, imported, or designated for export and re-export or released on the local market.

The applicable legislation reveals that Bulgarian lawmakers still do not know whether growing industrial cannabis is a good thing or a bad thing – or a crime. All this handwringing is embodied in the requirements of a single legal act – the Bulgarian Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act (the NSPCA).

The "Dualistic" Approach

Cannabis (hemp) is an annual flowering herb belonging to a genus of plants that in some cases can be used to obtain marijuana. Cannabinoids are the chemical substances in the herb that influence humans. One of these cannabinoids – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – is the psychoactive substance of cannabis. Another – cannabidiol (CBD) – is not subject to regulation and monitoring under Bulgarian law. THC may range from 0.2 to 21 %, depending on the variety of hemp. All plant varieties in which the THC content is less than 0.2 % are qualified as industrial cannabis (i.e. unsuitable for marijuana production). Industrial cannabis is used in the textile, paper, food, and feed industries, among others.

It's Legal

Applications are considered by a committee, which must decide within three months of the submission whether to issue a permit (in the form of a licence) or to waive the application. The licence is valid for three years. The MAFF does not charge a fee for this procedure.

But here’s the thing. Cannabis, as a plant, is not forbidden by law. Only its psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is included on the high-risk drug list. And that gives way to some controversies.

Drug possession for personal use is considered a minor offence and is punishable by a fine. Offenders who are caught possessing small amounts of narcotics, such as a spliff of cannabis, 1 gram of cocaine or up to five ecstasy pills can receive a fine of up to BGN 1,000 (approximately €510).

CBD in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Penal Code makes a clear distinction between high-risk and moderate-risk narcotics. Drug use is an administrative offence and is punishable by a fine, regardless of the drug involved. However, the fine varies between BGN 2,000 and BGN 5,000 (approximately €1,020 to €2,550) and those using moderate-risk drugs tend to receive smaller fines than those using high-risk drugs.

Doctors who prescribe narcotic substances that are not approved can be sanctioned with a fine or a prison sentence of up to five years, and they may also lose their rights to practice medicine. As you can imagine, Bulgarian doctors are not too eager to recommend cannabis treatments.

As is the case with most ex-communist states, there’s a huge rift between the old and the new generations of Bulgarians. While older Bulgarians see cannabis as a gateway drug, many young people see it as a valuable resource that could revitalise the country’s economy.

In March 2019, the Romanian Finance Minister publicly stated that Romania might take further steps towards liberalisation of cannabis use in the near future. According to available information, the Romanian Ministry of Health has created a special action group to consider the next steps in the process. However, we will have to see what results this activity will bring, and how far the liberalisation of the use of cannabis for medical purposes will go.

Medical treatment involving cannabis is generally not allowed in Slovakia. Cannabinoids – the chemical compounds that give cannabis its medical and psychoactive properties – including cannabidiol are treated as controlled substances. Some medicinal products may contain certain controlled substances that are cannabis compounds. However, these products are only available through prescription and have additional prescription restrictions (e.g. prescribed number of packages cannot exceed quantity required for 30 days of treatment).

Serbia

There have recently been some discussions and proposals related to the regulation of cannabis for medical purposes. However, no specific steps have been taken yet. In any event, interest is growing for industrial cannabis in Hungary.

The use of cannabis for medical treatment has been allowed in the Czech Republic since April 2013, although it is strictly regulated. There are certain restrictions on the prescription of cannabis for medical use: (i) the strains of cannabis that can be prescribed, i.e. Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa L.; (ii) the types of medical problems it can be used for (mainly chronic illnesses, interminable pain, oncological diseases and treatment of HIV symptoms); (iii) the amount that can be prescribed (180 grams of dried cannabis for medical use per person per month); and (iv) the areas of expertise required from physicians authorised to prescribe medical cannabis.

Recently there have also been attempts to further soften the current regulation of cannabis use in general. Some MPs have suggested allowing private cultivation of a certain number of cannabis plants, the possibility of holding or donating up to 30 grams of cannabis to another person and having one and a quarter kilograms of dry matter at home. However, the proposal was rejected by the government.

Cannabis treatment is not allowed in Ukraine. Free use and cultivation of cannabis is forbidden. Cannabis is only permitted for (i) analysis by experts; (ii) operational investigations in connection with criminal intelligence and surveillance operations; (iii) academic research and educational purposes (if such purpose is sanctioned by law); and for (iv) licensed cultivation and use of cannabis plants (only low THC-yielding plants (0.08 per cent) for industrial purposes, not medical treatment). This rule does not apply to cannabis resin, cannabis tincture or extract of cannabis.