Austria can be your next travel destination. But, of course, the country is full of flora and fauna. So the country is worth visiting. If you love being high, you need to know, is weed legal in Austria? We have tried to provide you with the cannabis laws in Austria.
Austria is a good choice to live in as well as to visit. The beautiful country is full of natural surprises that you will surely love. You must be searching about if Austria is good for weed lovers? In brief, we can say that the country is liberal when it comes to cannabis. However, only medical marijuana and cannabis for research purposes are allowed. Recreational cannabis is strictly illegal for buying, selling, and using. However, Austria decriminalized marijuana for personal use.
Confused? Certainly, need to learn the details about the complex laws.
The article covers every single detail of cannabis in Austria. Don’t miss out. Read between the lines!
Austrian Cannabis laws: History, Use, Laws in Detail
Do you know why cannabis laws in Austria are called complex? Because you cannot judge whether the weed is legal or not.
Currently, in Austria, weed status is as follows:
Medical Cannabis: Legal
Recreational cannabis: Partially Legal ( legal for personal use in small amounts)
Selling cannabis plants and cannabis seeds is legal. At the same time, the law allows cannabis cultivation for scientific research and medical purposes only.
Hey! Don’t think that everything is legal. Unfortunately, due to the legal loophole in the laws, they become complex and confusing. Smoking weed is still illegal, and possessing or using a few amounts of weed is legal in Austria.
Confused. Everyone gets at the first go of laws!
So, the next segments will clear all the clouds.
History of cannabis laws in Austria:
Austrian Cannabis Laws came into the picture in 1998, when the country became a member of the EU. The laws are the Narcotic substances act. You can learn about narcotic substances act here.
On July 9, 2008, Cannabis cultivation got legalized for research and medical purposes. And the cultivation was monitored by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety. However, the THC content allowed to be maintained by nearly 0.3%.
The law allowed the use of Sativex, Dronabinol, and Nabinol on a registered practitioner.
Again, in 2016, law amendments made recreational use of marijuana outlawed as a criminal offense. That is, possession of a few grams of using weed for self remained out of criminal statute since 2016.
Let’s learn about the penalties.
Penalties and punishments for possession:
Though 2016, possession of cannabis was kept out a criminal offense. Yet there are strict rules like:
- Possession of weed or any other drug use of up to 20 gms of THC(Pure) or 40 gms of THCA will lead to up to six months in a prison sentence, a fine, or sometimes both.
- If cannabis offenders have more than the number of drugs mentioned above, they will get a prison sentence of up to one year with a heavy fine.
- Moreover, with an extraordinarily large amount of weed, a person might see a jail sentence of three years. In such cases, the offender should be involved in drug trafficking. Note: You must note that the threshold quantity defined by the Health ministry is 20 gms of THC(Pure) or 40 gms of THCA.
Penalties and punishments for selling weed:
The supply and selling of marijuana is a very serious offense, and guilty ones get harsh punishments. And it carries harsher punishments.
The laws exhibit that if a person gets caught with large quantities like 15 times or more than the threshold amount of weed declared by health authorities, the law can take him as a drug trafficker. If the amount of weed in his possession is large, then he is subject to the following:
- Either up to three years of imprisonment depends on his drug type.
- Or, he may be subject to up to five years of jail for importing drugs.
- or one to 10 years, 10-20 years, or maybe imprisonment for life. (If he is found working for a drug gang or having previous records of being involved in large drug trafficking in aggravating circumstances)
If you try to sell cannabis commercially, you are in danger!
Penalties and punishments for Cultivation of cannabis plants:
The narcotic substances act, when amended in the year 2008, gave wings to the cultivation of medicinal cannabis plants and for research purposes. The result is quite obvious as weed is growing in Austria on a large scale.
According to the law, you can grow cannabis to a THC level of 0.3%. However, if we simplify, you can grow cannabis at your home until the flowering stage. As below flowering, THC or addictive substances are low.
Toni Straka once stated that Austria harvests approximately 30,000 cannabis plants per month. Quite a huge number, isn’t it?
The laws further state that the cultivation of cannabis plants is illegal if they have well-grown flowers and seed heads, as such plants indicate the presence of active substances.
If you grow such plants, you will be under law enforcement and subject to harsh rigorous jail punishments. You can grow it as a decorative plant.
However, the current government formed in 2017 indicated that the cultivation of hemp seeds and plants will be banned soon.
Medical marijuana in Austria: Is medical cannabis illegal?
Growing medicinal cannabis has been legal in Austria since 2008. You can buy seeds and grow plants under the Health Ministry of Austrian authorities.
However, it would help if you keep the following in mind:
- Medical cannabis is strictly for medical and research purposes only.
- A person can avail of medical benefits of marijuana if they have a recommended prescription by the registered practitioner.
- A doctor can prescribe marijuana help only if the patient is suffering from:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cancer or after chemotherapy
- Nerve problems
- Severe Depression
- Uncontrolled chronic pain
The experts say that the current medical marijuana program is not enough as Austria has not allowed the use of cannabis flowers for medicinal purposes like other countries of the European Union.
So we may see a change in the future policies of the current government.
Is CBD legal?
Laws for CBD are quite confusing as CBD was legal til 2018. A can buy and sell products of THC content up to 0.3%.
However, the Austrian government has revised the law and made it illegal, unlike the other countries under EU legislation. As a result, edibles are illegal now, and you can sell them under Aromatherapy products.
No one can sell any food item containing CBD. There was an incident when a pastry shop was banned as they sold CBD-infused cakes in 2018. Food containing CBD is the Novel food in Austria, and people selling such food are nothing but criminal offenders.
Transportation of cannabis in Austria:
Can you imagine? The country that has not accepted CBD products so far has allowed the transportation within the state!
Surprisingly, you can buy, sell or even send cannabis seeds through the mail!
Are you able to get why cannabis laws in Austria are so complex?
Is there any Hemp industry in Austria?
Despite severe criminal charges on personal possession while exceeding the small quantities and a ban on CBD, Austria’s hemp industry is thriving well.
Even a place in Hanfthal has the other name as the hemp valley.
Do you know that the hemp industry revived in 1995 after a long wait of 37 years?
But now, Austria is becoming a pioneer in Hemp-based cannabis products. Austria delivers hemp for fiber, building materials, and oilseed crops. Also, it additionally adds to hemp technology. Two instances of this are:
The Hempstone-Zelfo process. When Ground hemp filaments combine with water to create a thick composite plastic, the product is easy to clean.
Hempstone- The main usage includes making furniture, instruments, and different things.
Cannabis culture in Austria:
Like in other countries, demands to legalize cannabis in Austria are roaring daily. So you will find people smoking weed.
A survey says that almost 30-40 % of Austrian young and older people have tried many cannabis-related products like herbal cannabis in Austria.
Most people favor legalizing cannabis completely for medical use. They want a free hand and permission to use cannabis for medicinal preparations. Some still disagree with legalizing addictive substances but want to get marijuana reform like other European countries.
FAQs: Is weed legal in Austria
Can you tell me about the famous events on cannabis in Austria?
Wiener Hanfmesse: an expo to tell about the growth and reform in the cannabis industry.
Cultiva Hanfmesse: The basic motive is to showcase the recent developments made in the medical world of cannabis.
Hemp Festival: The festival depicts the new cannabis products and their usage. You can buy them. This is a very happening kind of event where you can also enjoy the live music.
What are the cannabis laws in Austria?
The article contains cannabis laws. You can go through it thoughtfully.
Is cultivation legal in Austria?
Cultivation is allowed only for medical and scientific purposes. Therefore, make sure the plants don’t contain any active substances.
What does the small quantity mean?
The Health ministry defines a small quantity of weed. It says that cannabis possession for personal use is allowed below the 20 gms of THC or 40 gms of strains containing THCA. suspended sentence
Do cops bother me if I smoke in public?
In general, cops won’t disturb you for smoking peacefully. Instead, they ignore you until they find you mysterious or involved in some drug trafficking or selling weed.
What is cannabis cloning?
As the Austrian law allows the cultivation of cannabis plants with low THC, a huge number of plants are harvested and sold per month. Therefore, to maintain the THC content, cannabis cloning is used.
There is a dynamic development in Europe where weed is now a part of medication and examination. Austria has confounded rules and guidelines about marijuana, and you ought to guarantee that you know about these regulations before consuming weed before going there.
Taking everything into account, assuming that you are making a trip to Austria for a get-away, you ought to have all the fundamental data about the regulations to weed. Seeing all the current scenarios, we can say that marijuana will not be completely legal very soon under the current government. So when you know about your circumstance, you can deal with yourself cautiously and try not to brush with the law.