History of CBD and Cannabis: Kosovo
Located in Southeastern Europe, Kosovo is currently a disputed territory nestled in the center of the Balkans. With varied landscape and geography, cannabis trafficking, distribution, and cultivation schemes have managed to flourish in the partially governed state.
Most of Kosovo is dominated by a continental, cold climate, with huge mountains bordering the west and southeast. Although the climate isn’t favorable for cannabis production, many small growers manage to make a living purely because it’s hard for law enforcement to effectively patrol rural areas.
Most cannabis production occurs in the climactic Metohija area, which has a Mediterranean environment with a high degree of annual precipitation.
Over the years, the historic attitude of the Kosovo government towards cannabis has been controlled by Soviet influences, strategic geographical features, and a flourishing cannabis culture in city centers.
Cannabis, CBD, and Kosovo
Currently, all forms of recreational, medicinal, and industrial cannabis and CBD products are banned in Kosovo. Cultivation and distribution is treated as a high crime, not differentiated from distributing harsher substances like meth, heroin, or cocaine.
Out of all illicit substances, cannabis is the most widely cultivated and used narcotic plant. Over the past two decades, the annual rate of seizures has increased tenfold. However, rates of physical arrest remain low.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kosovo was left in a state of civil, economic, and social unrest. The rates of organized crime grew to unprecedented numbers, much like Kosovo’s post-Soviet neighbors.
In 1999, tensions between the Albanians and Serbs heated up into an untenable ethnic conflict. Growing rates of violence, homicide, and human trafficking put punitive measures on personal cannabis possession on the back burner.
In response to widespread hopelessness, many Kosovo residents opted to use marijuana or to start cultivating it. Unlike other crops, marijuana is extremely lucrative per acre, which drew struggling families into networks of organized cannabis crime.
The Kosovo government ramped up its cooperation with the European Union and other international organizations in order to fight crime. In the early 2000s, the police force repeatedly doubled annually. Law enforcement was even contracted from nearby countries.
It’s very unlikely that Kosovo will legalize cannabis soon. It requires a great degree of complex administrative cooperation in order to implement a fully realized cannabis market, which means that cannabis sales are regulated to illegal operations.
Some experts are beginning to discuss the possibility of decriminalization, since this would reduce the financial burden placed on local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, decriminalization could help to disenfranchise many lucrative cannabis trade schemes as marijuana prices decrease.