Cannabis law and legislation in Poland

Medical use

Polish legislation does not generally allow the growing of cannabis that contains more than 0.2% THC in flowering or fruiting tops of plants from which the resin has not been removed (Non-Fibrous Cannabis). Only by way of exception, scientific entities may grow Non-Fibrous Cannabis after obtaining a permit from the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector. It is, however, possible to import and sell such cannabis for medical use as a pharmaceutical raw material intended for preparing prescription drugs.

Non-Fibrous Cannabis herb, tinctures, resin and other extracts may constitute a pharmaceutical raw material after obtaining a marketing authorisation issued by the President of the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products (granted for a period of five years). The provisions of pharmaceutical law regarding manufacturing and import of medical raw materials and permits required in connection with such materials apply accordingly.

Non-Fibrous Cannabis for medical use is distributed to patients by pharmacies as a prescription medicine, i.e. a medicinal product prepared in a pharmacy on the basis of a medical prescription issued by a doctor.

Violations of the laws concerning Non-Fibrous Cannabis are treated as criminal offences and are punishable by fines or imprisonment.

Recreational use

The production, import and sale of recreational Non-Fibrous Cannabis is forbidden in Poland.

Industrial use

The applicable law does not provide a list of permitted uses for industrial cannabis (Fibrous Hemp).

The textile, chemical, pulp and paper, food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, building materials and seeds industries, however, are indicated as sectors for the needs of which it may be admissible to grow Fibrous Hemp (provided that an appropriate permit has been obtained).

Poland has no regulation on CBD. The applicable legislation recognises only the difference between (non-fibrous) cannabis and Fibrous Hemp (depending on the content of THC). CBD is not a controlled substance provided that it was derived from cannabis that contains more than 0.2% THC. CBD is becoming increasingly popular as a food or cosmetic ingredient.

Patentability

It is generally possible to patent a cannabis-based product in Poland. The legislation concerning industrial property does not contain any specific restrictions in this respect. However, patents are generally not granted for inventions the exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or decency. Having said that, the exploitation of an invention is not regarded as contrary to public order only because it is prohibited by law.

Latest developments

The use of cannabis for medical purposes became permissible when the dedicated amendment to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction entered into force on 1 November 2017.

Portrait of Agnieszka Starzyńska
Agnieszka Starzyńska
Senior Associate
Warsaw
Katarzyna Los