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Czech Republic Gives Minimal Info For Upcoming Regulated Market

Prague, Czech Republic
Written by Sarah Friedman

Czech Republic is planning some kind of regulated recreational cannabis market, but details are still yet to come.

The news that Germany backtracked on all its plans for a regulated cannabis market in light of not getting EU approval, was a bit of a blow. However, another EU country has its own plans. The Czech Republic is talking about a regulated market, and might now be the first country in the EU to make it happen.

Czech Republic announced plans for regulated weed market in 2022

Last fall, following in the footsteps of Germany and Switzerland, the Czech Republic made its own announcement about legalizing recreational cannabis and opening a regulated market. At the time it seemed the Czech government wanted to make its plans in tandem with its next-door-neighbor Germany.

Last fall, the reports were minimal, with no specific information given about anything. It wasn’t even clear which government agency the announcement came through. The only information given, was the sheer idea to do it. However, it was said that the coalition government was in the midst of drafting legislation, with an expected release date of March 2023. The hope at the time, was to have the market up and running by early 2024.

One of the few pieces of information let out, was that bill draft-writing was under the direction of drug commissioner Jindřich Vobořil, and that according to Vobořil, the idea was to do this in conjunction with Germany. At the time he stated, “We are in contact with our German colleagues, and we have repeatedly confirmed that we want to coordinate by consulting each other on our proposals.”

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However, in terms of doing this with Germany, earlier in April it was reported that Germany would not follow through with its stated idea for a market anytime soon. The EU didn’t approve of the country’s plan. So, what does that now mean for the Czech Republic, and its own ambitions for a regulated market? Perhaps Germany’s move actually brings them closer together.

Czech Republic introduces its plans for a regulated market, sort of…

On April 6th, 2023, it was reported that the Czech Republic announced its own plans for a regulated weed market in the wake of Germany’s failure to have its plans approved by the EU. The Czech cabinet passed a drug strategy plan; although the exact rules of the plan are still to be set. According to Prime Minister Petr Fiala, an ‘expert group’ will be in charge of doing this.

The thing is, this announcement does little more to shed light on what’s going on, than the original announcement last fall. Something was passed, but no details are shared, except for a few vague ones. Like that this new drug strategy is set to run until the end of 2025, and includes as part of it, a regulated recreational cannabis market.

Fiala, in all his vagueness, said this new plan provides a balanced approach, and takes into consideration the needs of a drug policy, along with an eye on the international landscape. He stated that the plan takes into consideration children, and mitigating risks in terms of their access to drugs.

The new plan is not just about cannabis, but is an Addiction Policy Action Plan, that sets regulation for the prevention, use, sale and advertising of many different addictive substances; including alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis; as well as gambling. According to Vobořil, there are five priorities attached to this plan: 1) cannabis policy, 2) taxation, 3) prevention, 4) treatment, and 5) dealing with the EU and any possible repercussions.

Why number 2 and 5 are interesting

The second and fifth points are interesting. In the second, the plan touches on something that every country with legalization policies tends to get excited for: taxes! According to Vobořil, there will be new taxes for addictive substances, with the thought this could generate up to CZK 15 billion ($702.2  million) yearly for the country. The cannabis market is estimated to bring in an additional four billion extra on its own.

Cannabis taxes
Cannabis taxes

One must wonder when looking at such statements, if the government is actually paying attention to what’s currently happening with legal markets now. Depending on how inflated that number is, the country might be very let down by this prediction in the end; especially considering its high rate of usage now, which is entirely dependent on a thriving black market.

The last point is also interesting, and likely a reason for the lack of hard information provided. Unless we find out this is really just a club setup, we know the Czech Republic will have to deal with the EU in the same way Germany did. Perhaps the quietness is simply so as not to make statements it might have to go back on. We don’t know yet if the Czech Republic plans to bend to EU laws, or go off on its own.

The plan only passed the cabinet thus far. Another probable reason we aren’t told much, is likely because the plan must clear both sides of the county’s parliament, and obtain a sign-off from the president, which might lead to major changes in the process. Essentially, these are early stages, and given the issues that Germany had in making big announcements, and not living up to them; perhaps it bodes well for the Czech Republic to keep the details on the down low for now.

While some publications are proclaiming in headlines that the revised policy allows for things like buying up to five grams a day; that information was not released. As tends to be the case with headlines meant to grab attention, these articles are just speculating based on past statements.

What’s the current state of cannabis in Czech Republic

Considering it doesn’t have recreational cannabis, the Czech Republic is still one of the more easygoing countries in terms of cannabis regulation. The country passed a decriminalization policy in 2010, which allows the possession of up to 10 grams, and the cultivation of up to five plants. If a person has more than these amounts, but just for personal use, they can incur a civil fine up to CZK 15,000, but usually not this much. Jail time of up to one year is also possible for some offenses.

The above information is for minor infractions. For things like sales or trafficking, a person can be imprisoned for 2-10 years, though the minimum of two years is actually a requirement. The maximum sentence goes up to 18 years for the most extreme crimes, and cannot go above that limit. If traffickers aren’t making a significant income, they might get out of heavier punishments with a suspended sentence, or something in that realm.

Cannabis usage in Czech Republic
Cannabis usage in Czech Republic

Since 2013, the Czech Republic has allowed medical cannabis, with sales through pharmacies if the person has a doctor’s prescription. Medical patients are legally entitled to up to 180 grams of dry flower per month. This program pushed the Czech Republic into growing its own weed, as in the beginning the industry ran off of imports only.

The Czech Republic has something in common with Switzerland which sets it apart from the rest of the EU: it allows 1% THC in industrial cannabis products, rather than the .2% (now .3%) allowable by the EU. Perhaps this little difference says a lot about the country and what we can expect. If the Czech Republic was willing to go up against the EU for this, it might also be willing to go up against the EU in terms of opening a recreational market.

However, it should be remembered that back when announcements were first made last year, that Vobořil indicated a different less divisive direction via Facebook post. In terms of working with Germany he said, “My colleagues in Germany are talking about permitted quantities, and they don’t have the cannabis clubs that we foresee. I certainly want to hold the cannabis clubs until my last breath. This model seems very useful to me, at least for the first few years.” This might be the best indication for what we should expect moving forward.


When it really comes to news, this story is hardly worth covering, because practically no new news is offered. What we can see is that the Czech Republic is charging ahead with its own plans for a recreational market, whatever they are. And though it sounds like the country is aware of needing to deal with the EU, its also quite likely that the plans its working to establish, might not attempt to break with EU mandate. Stay tuned to life to find out.

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.