In principle, cultivation, import, sale and possession of (medicinal or recreational) cannabis is not allowed under Belgian law.
An exception is made for cultivation of hemp with a THC level less than or equal to 0.2% and for which a cultivation authorisation has been granted by the regional competent authority.
Medicinal cannabis cannot be sold in Belgium. Only cannabis-based medicines, for which a marketing authorisation has been granted (e.g. Sativex), can be delivered, under a doctor’s prescription.
Pharmacists can also dispense magisterial preparations on pharmaceutical raw materials such as cannabidiol (CBD) if they meet the following criteria:
- using raw materials such as cannabidiol with trace amounts of THC for pharmaceutical compounding is only acceptable if the patient is exposed to up to 1 microgram Δ9-THC per kilogram of body weight per day. In our knowledge, only one company in Belgium has been authorised by the FAHMP to supply CBD powder to pharmacists for use in magisterial preparations yet.
- cannabidiol-based preparations can only be supplied on a doctor’s prescription.
It is also prohibited to sell food supplements based on hemp.
In 2003, personal possession of cannabis was differentiated from the possession of other controlled substances, with the result that the public prosecutor did not have to prosecute if there was no evidence of problematic drug use or of public nuisance. After the Constitutional Court found that these terms were insufficiently defined, a new directive, issued in February 2005, called for full prosecution for possession in cases in which the ‘user amount’ (3 g or one plant) was exceeded, public order was disturbed or aggravating circumstances were identified. This includes possession of cannabis in or near schools. Such cases are punishable by three months to one year in prison and/or a fine of EUR 8,000 to EUR 800,000.
In the absence of aggravating circumstances, possession of cannabis for personal use is punishable by a fine of EUR 120 to EUR 200, based on a simplified police report.