Is CBD Oil Legal In Serbia?
You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed it: CBD is everywhere these days. The compound has become wildly popular and helped to fuel an entire new industry based around the substance. Revenue estimates have exploded: Worldwide, CBD is expected to generate $1 billion by 2020, and as much as $20 billion by 2024.
This has occurred as a result of the positive experiences of countless users, as well as some scientific studies which have concluded that CBD may help alleviate multiple emotional and physical problems.
As a result of its popularity and an increasing awareness that CBD is not marijuana, despite their shared origin from the cannabis plant, numerous governments have moved to change their laws and regulations, allowing for CBD to be purchased and consumed within their territory.
Is CBD Oil Allowed In Serbia?
No. CBD Oil is not legal in Serbia. In 2016, Serbia’s Expert Committee for the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes specifically recommended that CBD stay illegal, despite its recommendation that certain medicines containing marijuana be legalized (something which did not happen). As a result, the product cannot be purchased commercially in the country.
However, the same article noted that many doctors and individuals are buying the substance on the black market (and spending as much as 300 Euros a bottle), believing it to have palliative and healing powers.
Medical & Recreational Marijuana In Serbia
Despite proposed changes by the Expert Committee, and pronouncements by Serbian ministers that change would likely come, Medical Marijuana remains illegal in Serbia. Serbians who have used marijuana for medical purposes – even without the prescription of a medical professional – have been jailed, despite their significant illnesses.
Recreational marijuana use is illegal as well. Possession of marijuana can result in arrested individuals being jailed for up to three years, while sale and importation of marijuana can get 3-12 years. These penalties are increased if they occur in conjunction with organized crime.
Movement Towards Reform
The marijuana reform effort in Serbia has gained significant steam in the past few years, due in no small part to the success countries around Serbia have had at loosening marijuana restrictions. Parades, marches and protests have been held on the subject, dating back to 2005.
However, some of these efforts have resulted in organizers being jailed, including Dragan Alargić, one of the founders of Serbia’s Initiative for Change of Cannabis Laws. Alargić was arrested after his apartment was raided three days before a hearing on the subject of legalization, and found to be possessing three ounces of dried cannabis – something which Alargić regularly discussed possessing and smoking.
As such, while Serbia is making strides towards more liberal cannabis laws, they clearly still have a long way to go.