Is weed legal in Russia? Will it be legalized in 2024?

If you are confused about whether marijuana is legal in Russia and would like to know about the country’s marijuana laws, then you have the best read here!

Stay with us to know the legal status of weed in Russia.

Russia is the biggest country in the world area-wise. This superpower country is well known for its heritage and beauty. The country is one of the largest manufacturing countries in the world.

Such a considerable country must have legalized cannabis! If you are thinking so, you are wrong.

Russia has never legalized marijuana, whether for recreational or medical purposes.

Current Status:

CBD Products: Illegal

Medical marijuana: Illegal

Recreational marijuana: Illegal

The Russian Government has declared marijuana an illegal drug. They have the strictest governmental control on drug possession, cultivation, and usage.

Want to know more? Refer to our next segment.

Cannabis Laws in Russia: Medical marijuana, Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic substances


Generally speaking, Marijuana in any form, no matter the amount of THC, is illegal. Russian President Vladimir Putin has always condemned the legalization of narcotic drugs. He even strongly criticized other countries like Canada for the legalization of marijuana.

Indeed, with the present Russian authorities, you can not expect legal status for cannabis any time soon.

What the Russian Laws Say about Cannabis:

Cannabis cultivation, cannabis use, and possession of cannabis seeds are strictly prohibited. However, you cannot possess marijuana in Russia.

Law 1: Can you possess cannabis?

Legal cannabis in Russia is a dream for now. Russian government takes stringent actions against those caught with the pot stuff.

Up to 6 grams of possession of weed is considered an administrative offense, while more than 7 grams is a severe criminal offense. In both cases, the subject is eligible for punishment according to Article 228 of the Russian criminal code.

If you are found guilty of possession of these illegal drugs on a large scale, then you may face the following punishments:

  • A heavy fine of 40,000 Roubles or the equivalent amount of the guilty’s salary.
  • Four hundred eighty hours of tedious compulsive work or 2 years of corrective labor.
  • Imprisonment or restrictive freedom of up to three years.

If you are found to possess extra heavy possession of the drugs, then more severe penalties would be for you:

  • A heavy fine of 5,00,000 Roubles or the equivalent amount of the guilty’s salary.
  • Imprisonment or restrictive freedom of up to ten years.
  • According to the Russian criminal code, imprisonment duration may be from eight to twenty years depending on the amount of possession.

Despite having such strict governmental control, many people have been arrested for drug offenses. According to a survey, almost 7-9 million people use drugs in Russia today.

Law 2: Can you cultivate Cannabis seeds?

Until now, cannabis cultivation is again a severe offense. A person accused of cannabis cultivation will have to pay heavy fines and imprisonment.

The punishments are almost the same as for the selling of cannabis in Russia, which we will discuss next.

A ray of hope for growers was found in 2019 when the Russian ministry proposed allowing cannabis cultivation for medical purposes. The bill is still waiting to become law.

Though you will find people cultivating weed indoors, they live with a fear of facing police anytime. Also, they usually have low yields from the plants.

Law 3: Can you sell cannabis in Russia?

Selling weed would lead to life-ruining penalties. However, the Russian authorities take a tough stance on such activities.

If you or a person is found selling marijuana in Russia, he would have to face the following circumstances:

  • The minimum restriction of liberty is for 4-8 years up to 1 year of imprisonment.
  • If the cost of selling marijuana is large and a big group is involved, then the culprit may face from 5 years to 12 years of jail time and a heavy fine of 5,00000 roubles.
  • In case of drug trafficking, the accused will be eligible for eight to twenty years of strict imprisonment with a one million roubles fine.

Again, on a surprising note, the Russian narcotics industry is fetching almost 1.5 trillion roubles every year.

More about Weed in Russia

Is CBD Legal?

No, Any CBD product is illegal, no matter how small an amount of THC is there in the product. No individual can carry, buy or sell any CBD products in Russia.

Industrial Usage of Cannabis in Russia:

It is unbelievable that Russia was the manufacturer and supplier of 40% of industrial hemp in Europe until the 19th century.

Hemp has never been illegal in the country. The industry is generating revenues for the country.

On 6 February 2020, the Russian government stated that if a cannabis variety is listed in the state register of plant variety, it can be used for industrial purposes.

Medical Cannabis in Russia:

According to the Russian criminal code, ‘Raw cannabis’ is illegal n Russia. Only licensed governmental enterprises can use this raw cannabis to reprocess into some less restrictive narcotic or substance. This right is not given to private companies.

However, Russian laws don’t allow the use of cannabis for any medicines. Instead, they firmly believe that alternative medicines are available for every purpose. Therefore, there is no need for medicinal cannabis or any cannabis products.

Till now, Russia has no medical cannabis program. But, according to the Moscow Times, in Jan 2019, the Russian Health Ministry is likely to import cannabis for the medical research program. Indeed, this step could be a milestone in legalizing marijuana in Russia.

The document states that the country must import hashish and cannabis to study drug addiction. Also, it proposed to import cannabis, hashish, and hash oil to find out the active ingredients.

In July 2019, the new law that allows the partial cultivation of cannabis only for medical or veterinary purposes became active. However, it is not amended correctly, and cultivation is still prohibited.

Interesting fact:

In 2018, at the Fifa football World Cup, Russia provided some relaxation for its foreign football fans.

Reasons behind making cannabis an illegal drug in Russia

The Russian Ministry says that it is not a good idea to legalize marijuana. As:

  • Marijuana contains psychoactive substances whose prolonged usage may lead to psychological developments.
  • Legalizing these psychotropic substances will increase drug use and, hence, is dangerous.
  • Countries like the Netherlands and Mexico, where cannabis is legal, faced heavy protests against the decision.
  • They believe that it could be harmful to the socialist reconstruction as well.
  • The legalization would result in the flourishment of the drug culture.
  • People get high after drugging, which may cause road nuisance or accidents.
  • Youth, in the absence of unemployment, will get into the drug industry.
  • Marijuana usage leads to memory problems and a decline in mental IQ. Stoners also have a slow reaction time. In a nutshell, Marijuana is hazardous and cannot be legalized.

Hopefully, we have given you the most sorted drug laws in Russia. If you still have more queries to resolve, find our FAQs below.

FAQs regarding weed in Russia

Why does weed consumption a taboo in Russia?

Russia has not legalized cannabis yet. Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently criticized the countries that have legalized marijuana.
Russian police take a stance against pot lovers. According to the Russian policies, weed must be changed into principally different substances rather than cannabis.
The country’s strict laws against the usage of marijuana created taboo among the citizens.

Are there pot lovers in Russia? Do they smoke?

Yes, but illegally. Marijuana is not legal in Russia. And but pot lovers exist all around the world, and Russia is not an exception.
According to a survey, approximately 10-30% of Russians somehow use weed.

Can Russia legalize cannabis in 2024?

The Russian government has not given signs to legalize weed until now. Yet, a bill says that the government will import and cultivate some cannabis on the state register list for medical research.
Moreover, marijuana can generate a lot of revenue for the country. So, we can expect that medical cannabis may get legal status very soon.
However, there is no chance for recreational marijuana to get legal status.

Why does growing marijuana in Russia result in low yields?

In Russia, the cultivation of marijuana is illegal. And people grow it secretly in a discreet way. Russia possesses a cold climate, and growing cannabis indoors without proper lights like grow lights or hydroponics would let to low yields and not many dense buds.

Can we die after smoking pot?

No, there is no single such case in the world. Smoking marijuana can make you fall asleep while driving, and you may encounter some accidents. But, weed is not the reason for this.

What is the best way to have cannabis?

After smoking, you can use cannabis vape cartridges. It’s the most memorable way across the world.

I have seen somewhere on the web that Russia has legalized marijuana?

Please don’t rely on inaccurate information. Always consider only legal sources like government websites or news journals like the Moscow times etc.
Always get proper knowledge of the local laws before planning to a new place. Else you will end up in trouble.

What is a medical cannabis program in Russia?

There has been no medical cannabis program existing till now.

Can I find street drug vendors in Russia?

No, you will not.

How do people get by the police with weed in Russia despite strict rules? What is the minimum jail sentence?

Ans: Yes, people are incarcerated with the weed for recreational purposes. In Europe, Russians are the most accused of keeping or using weed.


Weed is illegal in Russia. Make sure you don’t face any trouble because of marijuana. Plan your visit to Russia accordingly and learn the local laws.

We highly recommend not buying marijuana from any stranger. You will not only pay the high rates, but also, if cops get you, you will end up in jail.

Hopefully, Russia will make positive steps in making weed legal soon.

“Even if one doesn’t smoke pot, one has to see the benefits of decriminalizing it!” — Danny Devito.

Christopher Andrews
I am Christopher Andrew, the owner of 420 Expert Adviser. I have been in cannabis cultivation for more than ten years, and I'm sharing my experience with you guys using this blog!

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