Updated on November 14, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
When it comes to marijuana use in Austria, the country presents a unique stance regarding medical cannabis medication. While the nation is relatively liberal in its position toward marijuana usage, the laws surrounding buying and growing plants can be tricky. As a result, individuals should familiarize themselves thoroughly with the country’s laws before using cannabis in Austria.
While Austria passed a parliament-issued bill in 2008 that legalized the production of cannabis for medical purposes, government-grown cannabis is not always readily available to patients in need. Thus, individuals who receive a valid prescription from a licensed doctor or physician are permitted to import synthetic cannabis variations, such as dronabinol and Sativex.
Concerning an official national program, the nation still has some work to do in establishing definitive guidelines. Individuals are still not legally able to distribute cannabis — an act which is restricted to the Health Ministry for the time being.
The production of hemp and cannabis products is not a foreign concept for Austria. In fact, the cultivation of marijuana spans thousands of years of history in the country. In 2008, however, the Austrian parliament officially authorized a bill that allowed the use of cannabis cultivation for medical purposes.
While the use of marijuana is permitted for patients, the laws surrounding cultivation are slightly stricter. Although patients can, in theory, produce cannabis, the production of marijuana for sale is prohibited. When grown in more substantial amounts, individuals can receive legal repercussion after the flowering phase.
While the Austrian parliament passed a bill in July of 2008 that permitted the cultivation of cannabis for medical and research purposes, the growth of cannabis is entirely restricted to the government. Any domestic production of marijuana is illegal, and only the Health Ministry possesses legal access to cultivation.
The sale of small quantities of marijuana holds lighter penalties, with 20 grams or more of pure THC constituting more severe offenses. Only 10% of THC is permissible per 200 grams of cannabis, and any excess amount is punishable by law.
While telemedicine is beginning to expand globally in the modern era, Austria does not fully support non-physical consultations between doctors and patients when it comes to prescribing medications and diagnosing illnesses. Although telemedicine allows doctors and patients to exchange information more readily, legal issues can still arise with remote appointments.
In 2008, the Austrian parliament passed a law that permitted the growth of cannabis for medical purposes. However, an individual does not necessarily need a specific health condition to receive medical marijuana. The use of cannabis products does alleviate a variety of symptoms, like chronic pain. However, all individuals seeking medical marijuana should consult with a doctor about the best treatment plan first.
Unlike various other nations that may require diagnosis or participation in a state-run medical marijuana program, Austria does not require individuals to receive an official diagnosis before medicating. As of January 2016, Austria decriminalized the use of recreational cannabis, which made accessing marijuana even easier for medical patients. A valid prescription from a licensed physician, however, gives patients access to cannabis with fewer restrictions.
While the legalization of medical marijuana is still a relatively new concept to the country, here’s a look at what we know about cannabis use in Argentina thus far:
While the consumption of marijuana or cannabis products cannot be punishable by law, it’s essential for medical marijuana patients to get their medicine from a credible source. The cultivation of any THC cannabis products is punishable by law, aside from at state-owned facilities. Any individual found selling, distributing or sharing medical products can face jail time and financial penalties.
While the use of marijuana dates back across thousands of years, the legalization of cannabis products is reaching a turning point — especially in the medical realm. Keep up with the latest information, legislation updates and research studies surrounding medical marijuana usage by regularly checking out our blog.