CBD Oil Illegal In Russia


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Russia used to be one of the world’s leading hemp producers. Now it has strict cannabis laws, and penalties are harsh for those caught using it. Read more. Currently, the cannabis laws in Europe differ from country to country. So you might be wondering in your travels, where it’s even legal to bring CBD or cannabis products. Some places, such as Russia, are currently one of the exceptions that have been strict on outright banning cannabis and cannabis substances such as C

Cannabis in Russia – Laws, Use, and History

It’s illegal to possess, sell or grow cannabis in Russia. The country has the highest number of people incarcerated for drug offences in Europe (per capita), and most were imprisoned under the notorious Article 228. However, there are hints that the law may change – with the country exploring the option of importing cannabis for medical research.

    • Capital
    • Moskva (Moscow)
    • Population
    • 143,787,000
      • CBD Products
      • Illegal
      • Recreational cannabis
      • Illegal
      • Medicinal cannabis
      • Illegal

      Cannabis laws in Russia

      Can you possess and use cannabis in Russia?

      Russia’s government takes a tough stance on possession or use of cannabis. Both are illegal, in accordance with Article 228 of the country’s Criminal Code, and are punishable with a fine and/or a prison sentence. Since 2012, the penalties can be deferred if the offender is found to have a drug problem.

      Possession of up to six grams is regarded as an administrative offence. Anything above seven grams is a criminal offence. However, there are reports of people being arrested for cannabis possession, only to have the authorities exaggerate the amount of cannabis they were caught with.

      For ‘large-scale’ possession, the following punishments may be given:

      • A fine of up to 40,000 roubles
      • The equivalent amount of three months of the offender’s wages/salary
      • Compulsory works for up to 480 hours
      • Corrective labour for up to two years
      • Restriction or deprivation of liberty for up to three years (in most instances, prison)

      For ‘especially large-scale’ possession, these penalties are increased to:

      • A fine of up to 500,000 roubles
      • The equivalent amount of three years of the offender’s wages/salary
      • And/or a restriction or deprivation of liberty for three to 10 years

      If the individual willingly hands the cannabis over to the authorities, and ‘actively contributes’ to the uncovering and suppression of drugs-related activities, he may avoid being given any penalties.

      In real terms, possessing or using cannabis in Russia is a risky practice. For offenders, the acquittal rate is 0.1%, with most being sentenced to three years in prison. Close to half of the 102,217 guilty verdicts in 2017 were for those convicted of cannabis or other soft drugs-related offences.

      Despite this, there are still large numbers of drug users in the country. It’s estimated that they number between 7.3 and 8.5 million in total.

      Can you sell cannabis in Russia?

      Likewise, it’s illegal to sell cannabis in Russia and the sale of the substance is regarded as a serious offence. If caught selling cannabis or any other drugs, the offender will be deprived of liberty for four to eight years with restriction of liberty for up to one year.

      However, what is considered ‘large-scale’ selling or carried out as part of a bigger group of people increases the prison term to five to 12 years and is possibly accompanied by fine too, of up to 500,000 roubles (or three years’ salary).

      If it’s on an especially large scale, or the offender is operating as part of an organised gang, or he is selling the cannabis through his official position at work, then the sentence is further elevated to a prison term of eight to 20 years. Additionally, the right to work in certain roles or engage in specific activities may be removed, and there’s also the risk of having to pay one million roubles as a fine (or five years’ salary).

      In spite of these tough penalties, drug trafficking remains an issue in Russia. In 2016, Viktor Ivanov (the former head of the country’s drug enforcement agency), estimated that the narcotics industry was generating an annual profit of 1.5 trillion roubles.

      Unemployment sometimes drives Russians to sell drugs to make a living. One online dealer commented to the Moscow Times: “You’re looking for legitimate ways to make ends meet. And then you think: Screw this, I’m going to do the only thing I’m good at, which is selling drugs.”

      He also pointed to the city of Windhoek, the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, and the northern town of Oshakati as key areas where drug dealing is most rampant.

      Can you grow cannabis in Russia?

      It’s illegal to grow cannabis in Russia. The sentences are the same for cultivation as they are for sale, with hefty prison sentences in place for those who are caught growing even small numbers of plants.

      In June 2019, the government showed signs of relaxing this law to an extent. They passed a bill, permitting the cultivation of cannabis for pharmaceutical purposes. The bill still needs to be approved by the Federation Council and signed by President Vladimir Putin in order to become law.

      If passed, it would permit state companies to grow cannabis, providing they have a special licence to do so.

      Is CBD legal in Russia?

      All cannabis products are illegal in Russia, regardless of how much THC (the substance responsible for the ‘high’) they contain. As such, individuals may not possess, sell or buy any CBD products in the country.

      Can cannabis seeds be sent to Russia?

      Cannabis seeds are also illegal, and may not be sent into the country via the mail.

      Medicinal cannabis in Russia

      At present, Russia has no medicinal cannabis programme. Neither has the government expressed any intention to introduce one in the future. However, the country’s health ministry has stated that it wants to import cannabis for medical research purposes.

      A draft regulation document states that both hashish and cannabis are required to study drug addiction, and to isolate active ingredients. It also proposes to import 1.1 kilograms of cannabis, 300 grams of hashish, and 50 grams of hash oil to fulfil these requirements.

      This isn’t the first time that Russia has relaxed its laws regarding medicinal cannabis. For example, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, foreign football fans were permitted to bring medicinal cannabis with them, as long as they had a prescription.

      Industrial hemp in Russia

      Hemp was once an important crop for Russia. In fact, by the end of the 18 th century, hemp fibre provided one of the main sources of income for many parts of the country. This continued until the 19 th century when Russia was responsible for producing around 40% of Europe’s hemp.

      This changed during the early 1900s. The hemp trade began to decline, not only due to negative perceptions of the plant, but also because of shrinking acreage and low yields. The socialist reconstruction of agriculture changed the face of hemp cultivation in the country.

      Hemp was never made illegal though, and is still grown in Russia. The Konoplex Group is a good example of an organisation profiting from hemp in the country.

      Politics and cannabis

      President Vladimir Putin has always adopted an anti-cannabis stance. For example, he was openly critical of Canada’s decision to legalise the drug, with his government claiming that the country had “deliberately decided to breach” international law.

      He’s also expressed a desire to censor other aspects of Russian life, in a bid to curb cannabis use. In 2018, he put forward a suggestion to control rap music, as some tracks referenced drug use. Likewise, his government threatened to block Wikipedia if a page detailing how to make a specific type of hash wasn’t taken down.

      Good to know

      If you are travelling to Russia (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following:

      Russia and CBD – What you need to know

      Currently, the cannabis laws in Europe differ from country to country. So you might be wondering in your travels, where it’s even legal to bring CBD or cannabis products. Some places, such as Russia, are currently one of the exceptions that have been strict on outright banning cannabis and cannabis substances such as CBD. However, there is currently circulation that the laws and regulations in Russia might soon be changing for the cannabis industry. Even though this is yet to be proven and confirmed by the Russian government, here is what you need to know about cannabis in Russia.

      Is CBD legal in Russia?

      As of now, all cannabis products, regardless of how much THC is in them (like CBD), are illegal in Russia. So the answer is no, CBD is not legal for recreational, or medicinal use, in Russia. Because of this, you cannot buy, sell, or distribute CBD products in the country. You can’t even have products shipped to you by mail. The cannabis rules (and legal rules in general) here are very strict.

      Can I grow CBD in Russia?

      Seeing as to how all cannabis substances are not allowed in the country, cannabis seeds are also illegal in Russia. You cannot grow cannabis or CBD. If you’re caught growing or selling CBD or cannabis products, it will result in a prison sentence, and possible deportation.

      Can I travel with CBD products to Russia?

      Since all CBD and cannabis products are illegal in the country, it’s highly suggested that you do not bring any sort of CBD products into Russia. If caught trying to sneak it in, your trip could go badly, very quickly.

      Can I use CBD products in Russia with a prescription?

      No, you cannot. Russia currently has no medicinal cannabis laws set in place. The government, as well as president Vladimir Putin, have expressed any interest or intention to introduce a cannabis prescription law in the future.

      In the future, will CBD be legal in Russia?

      Any time in the near future, it’s unlikely that cannabis and CBD will be legalized in Russia. However, recently the government showed signs of jumping on the legalization band wagon, by permitting the cultivation of cannabis for pharmaceutical purposes. The bill, which was proposed in 2019, still needs to be approved by the Federation Council, and signed by President Vladimir Putin in order for it to become an official law. It’s a small stepping stone, but would at least pave the way for the growing of cannabis in Russia.

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