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Cannabis laws in in Croatia

Cannabis laws in in Croatia

Table of contents

Medical: legal
Recreational: decriminalized

Although adult-use cannabis is not legal, Croatia has a relatively progressive approach to cannabis laws. Since 2013, the possession of cannabis for personal use is considered a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of between €650-2,600. In 2015, the country legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes. In 2019, the country approved the cultivation of hemp for medical purposes. 

Cannabis in Croatia 

Cannabis is the most popular illicit substance in Croatia. While recreational cannabis remains illegal, attitudes are changing. In March 2022, a cannabis museum opened Zagreb. 

There have been several pushes to legalize adult-use cannabis, though so far none have succeeded. In early 2020, a Croatian lawmaker presented a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the country. The proposal had yet to pass in 2022

Possible penalties

Although cannabis is still a banned substance in Croatia, possession for personal use is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine under the country’s Drug Abuse Prevention Act (DAPA). Croatian law differentiates between “hard drugs” and “soft drugs” with cannabis falling under the latter category. 

If you are caught with a small amount of cannabis, you’ll have to pay a fine (between €650-2,600). If you’re caught with larger amounts of cannabis, you may be taken to court and face jail time. Penalties for large amounts of cannabis, intent to distribute, or trafficking range from six months to 15 years in jail. Growing and selling cannabis have a mandatory minimum sentence of three years

Medical marijuana in Croatia

Croatia was the first Balkan country to legalize medical marijuana back in 2015. Doctors can prescribe cannabis-based medications, capsules, teas, ointment, and herbal products but patients can only have up to 0.75 grams per month 

Qualifying conditions include: 

  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pediatric epilepsy 

When medical cannabis was first legalized, all product was imported from other countries such as Canada, but in 2019 the Croatian government lifted the ban on industrial hemp cultivation for medicinal purposes. Licensed drug cultivators can grow industrial hemp for medical purposes.  

CBD regulations

CBD is legal in Croatia, so long as it has 0.2% THC or less. You can find CBD products online and in retail stores throughout the country. 

As a member of the EU, Croatia 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, it is not legal to grow your own cannabis plants in Croatia, even for medical patients. Only businesses licensed by the government can do so. 

Visiting Croatia – can you buy or bring marijuana products?

Since possession of small amounts of cannabis are decriminalized, it is likely that visitors to Croatia can find the plant with some ease. However, any cannabis products you will find there are from the illegal market and are untested and unregulated. Purchase at your own risk, and prepare to pay a fine if caught.

Do not bring cannabis products in or out of the country with you, as this can be considered drug trafficking.

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  1. I have been arrested and await trial for growing industrial hemp for CBD in Croatia. The plants were EU approved strains but one of the police tests showed a level of 0.22% THC. Other tests were below 0.2%.

    I’m now awaiting trial and told by the judge i’m facing 10-12 years in prison for 0.02% over the limit. I was producing for CBD oil production. My CBD oil tested 0.06% and so is well below limits.

    From my growing experience, I do not believe, through natural variability, it is possible to guarantee all flower is below 0.2%. In which case every CBD grower in Europe should be jailed for 12 years.

    Can you advise please to help me avoid a seemingly harsh punishment of 12 years for the equivalent of just 5 joints of weed which i emlhasise was not for sale as flower and was to be extracted for CBD oil.

    Thanks for your help


    Dr Neil Jarrett

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