Although the Czech government finally backed away from banning CBD products earlier this year, a proposed law would subject these products to strict restrictions. The government bill amending in particular Law No. 167/1998 Coll., on addictive substances, aims to considerably limit this more or less free sale of kratom and CBD.
Definition of 2 substances
The proposed legislation separates “psychomodulatory substances” from “psychoactive substances.”
CBD is considered a psychomodulatory substance, that is, a substance that modifies or modulates the central nervous system. These substances present a low risk of negative effects on health or society and are not included in international drug lists, their regulation being left to the discretion of States.
In December 2020, the European Commission ruled that CBD was not a narcotic drug and could sometimes be classified as a food if it met the relevant provisions of EU food law. The decision also stated that CBD products should benefit from the same free movement of goods between and among member states as other legal products.
Kratom is considered a psychoactive substance within the meaning of the proposed measure, i.e. a substance “whose risks to health cannot be excluded on the basis of current scientific knowledge”. However, it is not considered a drug in international conventions.
The list of substances that will be subject to sales restrictions are established by government regulations. The government is introducing this method of regulation in order to be able to respond quickly and effectively to any new psychoactive substances appearing on the market. According to Minister Bartoš, this is an “innovative and functional regulation for this group of substances”.
More regulations on CBD
CBD is sold almost everywhere in the Czech Republic and in all its forms. After the Ministry of Health announced its intention to completely ban CBD products last April, the Czech government reversed course and finally decided to establish clear rules for their control and sale.
The first changes came under an amendment passed in July regarding synthetic psychoactive products such as HHC and delta-8 THC, which are made from hemp-derived CBD. This legislation limited the sale of these products to people over 18 years of age under the supervision of a seller, and prohibited sales in vending machines as well as all advertising.
Other specific rules in the proposed measure relate to CBD and kratom:
- Sales are limited to specialist stores and retailers must register with the government and pay a tax of around 5,000 euros
- Products must undergo laboratory tests and obtain certificates indicating the concentration of active substances
- Stores that carry the products must display signs indicating that consumers under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter.
- Physical points of sale and online stores must separate substances from other products they offer
- The packaging must indicate whether the products are “psychomodulator” or “psychoactive”, and the substances must be identified by name, subtype and form; the recommended dosage should also be indicated
- Gifts and samples cannot be distributed
The new regulation would also introduce several prohibitions such as:
- Sales through vending machines will be prohibited
- Advertising for CBD will be banned
- E-stores will have to verify the age of their customers
- Online stores will be banned from cross-border sales
- It will be strictly prohibited to use customers’ personal data for purposes other than the delivery of purchased goods.
- Export will only be possible under permit regime