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Cannabis laws in Latvia

Cannabis laws in Latvia

Table of contents

Medical: illegal
Recreational: illegal 

Both recreational and medical cannabis are illegal for sale, possession, or cultivation in Latvia. Possession of a gram or less for personal use is decriminalized as an administrative offense punishable by a fine, but subsequent offenses become criminal cases.

Cannabis in Latvia 

Unlike many European countries, Latvia did not outlaw cannabis in any form until it became a part of the USSR. Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug in Latvia and the most commonly confiscated by police. A report from the European Monitoring Center for Drug and Drug Addiction found “a continuous increase in lifetime prevalence rates of cannabis use”, noting that cannabis was mainly used by teens and young adults, but consumers are no longer discontinuing cannabis upon reaching adulthood. 

Efforts to get cannabis legalized in Latvia date back to 2012 and 2015, but these movements have not gained momentum at a government level. There is still a push to reduce cannabis punishments, as one writer in 2021 noted the jail sentence for cannabis can sometimes exceed that of murder. 

Industrial hemp cultivation is legal, so long as the plant has a THC content of 0.2% or less, the farmer has a license from the government, and complies with the growing restrictions. However, farmers are not allowed to extract cannabinoids from hemp. 

Possible penalties

Buying, growing, selling, and consuming cannabis are all illegal in Latvia. Possession and use of small amounts of cannabis (usually considered to be a gram or less) is not a criminal offense and is punishable by a warning or a fine up to €280. However, repeated offenses of small amounts with 12 months is a criminal offense, and punishable by up to 3 months in prison, community service, or a fine. 

Possession of large amounts (which is an undefined term) or selling are criminal charges and can lead to up to 3 years in prison. If you’re charged with drug trafficking, sentencing can increase to up to 8 years. 

Medical marijuana in Latvia 

Latvia has no legal medical cannabis program. Cannabis is considered an especially dangerous narcotic and is listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning there is no recognized medicinal use. 

CBD regulations

CBD exists in a legal grey area in Latvia. Industrial hemp cultivation is both legal and encouraged, and no laws explicitly prohibit CBD. You may be able to find CBD products in larger cities and tourist areas. Latvian farmers are not allowed to extract cannabinoids from hemp plants, so your CBD will not be locally made. 

As a member of the EU, Latvia 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 legally grow your own cannabis plants in Latvia. 

Visiting Latvia – can you buy or bring marijuana products?

Cannabis is not legal in Latvia, but the country’s administrative fine for small possession amounts means consumption is not uncommon. You cannot purchase cannabis or bring it into the country, which means you’ll be buying marijuana off the black market. Use caution, discretion, and your best judgment if you choose to do so. 

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