Cannabis festivals, initiatives, and growers’ associations have been around in the Czech Republic even before the passage of a 2012 law regulating the sale of cannabis-based products with prescription in pharmacies. Today, people can enjoy cannabis basic products at vending machines located in the main cities of the country.
The Czech Republic continues leading the way in cannabis marketing, cultivation, and distribution trends in Europe. Even though its recreational use is still illegal, the Czech government has decriminalised possession of cannabis and other drugs in 2010.
Cannabis as a Collector’s Item at Vending Machines
As from 2020, this Eastern European country has set up a total of 50 new vending machines, known as “CBDmats”, where people can buy low-THC oils, cannabis tinctures and hemp. “Only basic products are currently available,” explained CBDmat’s CEO, René Sirý. “Apart from cannabis buds, you can find CBD oils, and hemp-based droplets and sanitizers.” Eventually, the company hopes to offer a wider range of CBD products with “sedative, antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.” Sirý also added that the company has no plans no sell products with higher levels of THC (at least from now on), as they “do not want to move to the edge of the law.”
Still, products will be sold in opaque packaging and labelled as “collector’s items.” In fact, CBDmats sell three grams of hemp flower in opaque packaging at an average of € 30, and the company warns that these products are not meant to be smoked but used in a vape or as an ointment.
In this way, the company hopes to skirt the laws regarding CBD sales and avoid conflict. Under the Criminal Code of the Czech Republic, cannabis consumption is not a crime, which is why possessing small quantities is not a punishable offence. Since 2010, the country’s legal threshold for personal use of cannabis was 15 grams, and five plants in the case of home growing. Licences for growing, selling, and distributing this plant for medical purposes are issued by a governmental agency.
CBDmats intends to move to a second phase with an increase in supply and thus offer customers a wider range of CBD products, exclusively for therapeutic purposes. Offered products contain low-THC doses, below the 0.3% limit established by the law. The company claims that they are particularly interested in offering products with health and wellness benefits for consumers, e.g., anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, or sedative properties, among others, because its goal is to market cannabis with low THC contents.