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Is Marijuana Legal in North Macedonia?

North Macedonia flag with a hand holding a marijuana infront of it

Cannabis is legal in North Macedonia only for medical or scientific purposes. Possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis for recreational reasons are all currently illegal.

Per the Macedonian Criminal Code, keeping, producing, or selling narcotic drugs is punishable by six months to 10 years of imprisonment.

It was reported in November 2020 that the then North Macedonian Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, had suggested the country may legalize recreational marijuana in select locations.

The cities of Skopje and Ohrid, popular tourist destinations, were two proposed locations where the recreational consumption of cannabis might be made legal.

This was reportedly in response to the country’s economic hit due to COVID-19 restrictions and falling in line with other European countries.

According to some news outlets, Zaev was looking to create a Balkan version of Amsterdam, providing tourists with cannabis products for recreational use while simultaneously taking cannabis-related profits out of the pockets of criminals.

Despite these mentions of cannabis legalization, the Macedonian Law on the Control of Narcotics, Drugs, and Psychotropic substances still classifies the plant as a controlled substance.

What Are the Medical Marijuana Laws in North Macedonia?

Medical marijuana was illegal in North Macedonia until February 9, 2016, when the Parliament Health Committee approved the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.

Beginning in June 2016, the general public could reportedly purchase cannabis oil from a pharmacy if it contained less than 0.2% cannabinoids without needing a prescription.

Preparations with more than 0.2% cannabinoid content would still require a prescription from a doctor.

Doctors are currently only allowed to prescribe cannabis for specific cancers and conditions such as epilepsy, HIV, and multiple sclerosis.

How Much Cannabis Can I Possess in North Macedonia With an MMJ Card?

It is unclear how much cannabis is allowed to be possessed by MMJ cardholders.

North Macedonian government laws on cannabis are often unclear, conflating cannabis with hemp, which are two very different products.

How Do I Get Certified for Medical Cannabis in North Macedonia?

Certification for medical cannabis in North Macedonia can be obtained only through government-approved specialist physicians and can only be prescribed for specific conditions, like multiple sclerosis and some cancers.

Cannabis preparations with less than 0.2% cannabinoid content are available over the counter from pharmacies.

Is Telemedicine Allowed for Medical Cannabis Consultations in North Macedonia?

It is unclear if telemedicine consultations allow obtaining a prescription for medical cannabis.

Government websites do not state this directly, which is unsurprising given the lax definitions of cannabis and cannabis use currently written into law.

Are There Any Employment Laws Protecting Medical Cannabis Cardholders in North Macedonia?

There are no mentions online of any employment laws put in place to protect medical cannabis cardholders in North Macedonia.

It is best to play it safe and not consume any cannabis while in North Macedonia unless you have gained approval from a local physician who is authorized to do so.

What Are the Medical Cannabis Product Testing Requirements in North Macedonia?

The North Macedonia government has not made any clear statements about the testing or regulation of medical cannabis.

Some guidelines are likely in place, but no mention of these requirements has been made on publicly accessible websites or government reports.

It is illegal to grow cannabis in North Macedonia unless it is for scientific or medical purposes.

Even when this is the case, you must have a legal entity set up within North Macedonia and have prior approval for cannabis cultivation from the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Following that, you must obtain permission from the Ministry of Health, adhering to strict standards required for the production of medical products.

If you have received approval from both government agencies, you must still operate in a way that meets the requirements outlined in the Law on the Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

Approved companies must also reportedly employ an agriculturist with a degree in agronomy and a pharmacist with at least three years of experience.

Before planting, you must also apply to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Economy for permission to grow cannabis, as they regulate which crops can be grown and where.

It may be a long road to certification, but cannabis cultivation is reportedly very profitable in North Macedonia.

Where Is It Safe to Purchase Cannabis in North Macedonia?

It is only safe to purchase cannabis from government-authorized outlets or pharmacies.

Very little information is available online regarding where approved medical marijuana patients can obtain cannabis, how much they may get, or in what forms.

Where Is It Safe To Consume Marijuana in North Macedonia?

The medical use of marijuana is legal in North Macedonia, but there are no government-provided guidelines regarding how or where medical cannabis can be consumed.

It is also unclear what products might be available, such as cannabis flower versus oils with a low cannabinoid content.