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Cannabis laws in Bulgaria

Cannabis laws in Bulgaria

Table of contents

Medical: illegal
Recreational: illegal

Neither medical nor recreational cannabis is legal in Bulgaria. Under the Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act, cultivation, possession, and sale of marijuana are illegal, but farmers can grow industrial hemp with a permit from the government. 

In May 2019, Bulgaria became the first EU country to allow the legal sale of CBD products.

Cannabis in Bulgaria 

Cannabis is the most commonly consumed illegal drug in Bulgaria; an estimated 10% of young adults have tried the plant. However, the country has strict drug laws that consider cannabis to have a “high degree of risk for the public health due to the harmful effect from its abuse

Possible penalties

Cannabis is considered a List 1, “high-risk drug” in Bulgaria. Possession of any amount is illegal, but small amounts (such as a single joint) are considered a minor offense and subject to a fine. Consuming cannabis is an administrative offense, subject to a fine. 

Possession of large amounts is a criminal offense that can incur one to six years in jail while trafficking cannabis means you can face two to eight years in jail. There is not a set quantity that determines a “large amount”- it is determined by the street value of however much cannabis you’re carrying. 

CBD regulations

CBD is legal in Bulgaria. The country led the European market by allowing the free sale of CBD products back in 2019. While the EU considers CBD a ‘novel food’ that needs a special license, the Bulgarian Government classified CBD as a “traditional food,” which does not need a special license. CBD oil and other hemp-based products are available for purchase throughout the country. 

Farmers can also grow industrial hemp in Bulgaria as long as the plants have less than 0.2% THC by weight and they have a permit from the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.

Medical marijuana in Bulgaria 

There is no legal medical marijuana program in Bulgaria as of 2022. 

Can you grow your own weed?

No, you cannot legally grow cannabis plants in Bulgaria. You can grow hemp plants, so long as they have less than 0.2% THC by weight and you have a license from the Bulgarian government. 

Visiting Bulgaria  – can you buy or bring marijuana products?

Don’t expect to easily find cannabis when you visit Bulgaria. Although cannabis consumption isn’t unusual for younger generations, it’s not as popular or prevalent as other vices like cigarettes and alcohol. The strict laws against cannabis mean you can face jail time for possessing even a few grams.

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