Medical Marijuana in Estonia

Updated on June 28, 2021.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Medical marijuana is a growing topic in Estonia. While medicinal marijuana was legalized more than 10 years ago by officials, the government’s made it a challenge for patients to access it by not implementing a medical marijuana program that supports the cultivation, distribution and recommendation of this natural and effective medicine.

Medical Marijuana Program in Estonia

In comparison to other countries, such as Canada or Uruguay, Estonia does not have a medical marijuana program. Instead, the government permits medical cannabis use on a per-patient basis. This approach results in an extensive, complicated process that involves the Ministry of Social Affairs and other departments, in some cases.

If you’re approved to use medical marijuana, Estonia’s laws only permit the use of cannabis-based drugs, such as Marinol, which uses a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If you want to use actual weed, you must go through an additional review with the State Agency of Medicines and International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

History of Medical Marijuana in Estonia

Estonia’s history with marijuana follows a similar story as that of other European countries. For decades, carrying, cultivating, producing or selling cannabis carried severe punishments. In the early 21st century, however, lawmakers decriminalized the possession of 7.5 grams of marijuana.

Later, in 2005, the country legalized medical cannabis through a Ministry of Social Affairs regulation. Since then, legislators haven’t moved to establish a medical marijuana program, though recent petitions are beginning to catch the government’s attention.

Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Estonia

While Estonia decriminalized possessing marijuana, cultivating, selling and possessing it are all still illegal. In most cases, violating these laws results in an administrative arrest, but can still lead to fines and prison time. Transporting or delivering cannabis poses the most significant punishment, with a minimum imprisonment of three years and a maximum of 20.

Telemedicine in Estonia

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs have incorporated telemedicine into Estonia’s health system. The country’s telemedicine program launched in 2008, and several hospitals support it, including the Tartu University Hospital Foundation, East Tallinn Central Hospital and North Estonia Medical Centre.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Estonia

Due to the nature of Estonia’s medical cannabis program, legislators don’t define a set of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. As a result, physicians may write on your behalf if they feel your condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or psoriasis, would benefit from medical weed.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Estonia

Agencies that oversee the process for medical marijuana, such as the Ministry of Social Affairs and INCB, do not issue identification or medical cannabis cards. If you’re approved for using medical weed, you won’t have to go through an additional application process.

Facts About Medical Marijuana in Estonia

Some facts about recreational and medical marijuana in Estonia include:

  • More than 13 percent of Estonians between the ages of 15 to 34 use cannabis.
  • Only one patient in the country has received approval to use actual medical marijuana.
  • All medical cannabis must be imported.

Medical Marijuana Penalties in Estonia

Penalties for recreational and medical marijuana are often fines, with only 10 to 20 percent of offenders receiving administrative arrest for 30 days. Cultivating, distributing and transporting cannabis on a commercial scale all lead to higher penalties, such as prison time.

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Resources for Medical Marijuana Patients in Estonia