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Cannabis in Denmark. What is the marijuana situation in this country?

As in most European countries, in Denmark it is illegal to possess, sell or distribute Cannabis to individuals. Despite this, the situation for marijuana in Denmark is not the worst on the continent, as the recent legal medical marijuana scheme creation has brought good news in the country.

In this article we will give you a comprehensive overview of the marijuana situation in Denmark. Check out our table of contents to get help to understand the legal framework for both medical and recreational cannabis in Denmark.

Table of contents:

Possession and Use of Marijuana in Denmark

Possession of marijuana is illegal in Denmark. The Controlled Substances Act of 2016 makes this illegal and anyone caught carrying marijuana in Denmark on a public street is liable to penalties of various kinds. In fact, the penalties can range from financial fines, as we will see later, to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment.

On the other hand, the use of marijuana in Denmark is not a criminal offense under the Danish Controlled Substances Act. However, simply carrying marijuana is already an offense, and the use of marijuana on the street is punishable by the penalties for cannabis possession. In general, except in aggravated cases, the penalties for possession are low.

As in other European countries, such as Spain, being a multiple times offender for marijuana possession has a negative influence on the penalty. Thus, the sum of the second fine may be higher than on the first time.

The first marijuana penalty is around 70 euros, so this is not the largest penalty we can find in the European Union either, especially if we compare it to Spain, where the penalties for cannabis possession start at 600 euros (300 euros paid promptly).

Using marijuana in Denmark while driving can lead to a higher fine. In fact, you can even commit a criminal offense and end up in prison for driving under the influence of Cannabis. Similarly, possession of 10kg or more of Cannabis is also a more serious offense and can lead to 10-16 years in prison.

Growing Marijuana in Denmark

Growing marijuana in Denmark is illegal. But as in other European countries, there are legal loopholes for growers to grow marijuana plants in Denmark.

Thus, as we will see later, the sale of marijuana seeds is legal in this country, so many growers grow thanks to this legal option. Although marijuana growing is not considered a serious offense, as long as it is in small quantities, it is still punishable by law.

Marijuana sales in Denmark

There are few countries in Europe where selling marijuana is legal. Unfortunately, Denmark is not on this list of countries and it is completely illegal to sell and buy marijuana within the country. Penalties for marijuana sale ranges from small administrative fines to prison sentences when larger amounts are sold.

There is, however, a glimmer of light for the sale of marijuana in Denmark, this is becuase there is a small haven for medicinal growers. The Danish Medicines Agency has granted more than a dozen permits to companies involved in the production and distribution of medical marijuana, as we will see in the next section.

Cannabis Medicinal status in Denmark

Denmark stands out from many EU countries in the regularization of medicinal Cannabis. It was in 2018 when the country began to tender permits to pharmaceutical companies to grow medical marijuana and then sell it to patients. A total of 12 companies were approved for this purpose by the government.

However, the type of marijuana-based medicine that was legitimized to be produced in Denmark is focused in production to make products such as Sativex and not for the essential cannabinoids’ extractions.

It is possible that these permits are only the first steps for Denmark in the medical marijuana field. Denmark thus has a good chance of becoming one of the most powerful medical cannabis countries in Europe, thanks to a legal framework that gradually opens the doors for marijuana research and development of new medicines in Denmark.

In addition, it is legal in Denmark to prescribe and consume medicinal marijuana-based medicines such as Sativex, Marinol and Nabilona.

To conclude the medical section, it should be mentioned that the use, purchase and sale of CBD is legal in Denmark since 2018. As is the case in many countries where cannabidiol is legal, the maximum amount of THC that can be contained in hemp flowers or CBD extracts cannot exceed 0.2%.

Cannabis fines

Possession of small quantities of marijuana on public places may lead to the average penalty of 70€. This is a small penalty compared to other European countries. However, there may be aggravating factors that increase this penalty.

However, the penalty for possession of marijuana can be reduced or even stopped, if the amount of marijuana being carried at the time is less than 10 grams of hashish or 50 grams of marijuana buds. This always depends on which law enforcement officer the individual is with and the individual’s behaviour.

Marijuana Seeds Shipments to Denmark

The sale of marijuana seeds in Denmark is fully legal and has no restrictions. This means that a grower can buy as many seeds as he wants without any limits on quantity.

However, it is illegal to grow marijuana without being expressly granted by the government, like the pharmaceutical companies who produce it for therapeutic purposes.

Experiencia Natural has the best online marijuana seed catalog where you can order top quality Cannabis strains to Denmark and many other European countries.

The marijuana grower won’t have to worry about the quality of the packaging and germination guarantees, as we are specialists in discreet shipments with all the quality standards.

The Legal Situation of Cannabis in Denmark

Denmark is quickly becoming one of the largest cannabis growers in Europe. As of the 2nd of March, 2020, the Danish government has authorised more than 40 cannabis companies to cultivate and handle marijuana in order to produce medicinal-grade products.

But what’s the legal situation of cannabis in Denmark? Can residents or tourists use marijuana without getting into legal trouble? Let’s find out.

Is recreational cannabis legal in Denmark?

The cultivation, possession and distribution of cannabis are illegal in Denmark. The use of cannabis is technically not illegal, but since owning marijuana is illegal, people who use it will probably get in legal trouble as well. In recent years, Denmark shifted from a tolerant approach toward cannabis to a zero-tolerance one.

Cannabis is considered a soft drug, and Danish law enforcement agencies usually issue fines to punish possession, especially for first offences. According to the law, cannabis possession for personal use can attract anything from a warning to a maximum of two years of prison.

But both the warnings and the two-year imprisonments are only issued in limited circumstances. Most first offenders are let off with a fine, especially if they didn’t have more than 10 grams of hashish or 50 grams of cannabis on them.

If the prosecutor determines that the offender intended to sell cannabis, the sentence can be extended to 12 years of prison or more, depending on the aggravating circumstances.

Christiania — a formerly tolerated cannabis market in Copenhagen

Until recently, Denmark’s approach to cannabis control has been less strict than that of its Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden and Norway. But in recent years, the trends have changed. Norway’s government is pushing towards decriminalising drug use, whereas Denmark is pushing towards imposing harsher restrictions.

One good example of how relaxed the Danes were about cannabis is Christiania. Christiania is a partially autonomous community of about 1,000 inhabitants in Copenhagen. The neighbourhood is known for its colourful buildings, car-free streets, alternative creative scene and cafes that make it a popular tourist attraction.

From its creation in 1971 to 2016, Christiania was also known for its open marijuana trade. The Danish authorities mostly tolerated Christiania’s cannabis market because the community managed to keep hard drugs out of its neighbourhood.

Pusher Street, one of the streets in the centre of Christiania, was considered one of the largest cannabis markets in Europe in the early 2000s. Danish authorities estimated that 3.6 tonnes of cannabis were distributed between October 2003 and March 2004. In March 2004, the police raided Christiania, arrested more than 20 people and broke down the stalls dealers used to sell marijuana.

The people living in Christiania rebuilt the stalls and continued to trade cannabis, albeit less openly, until 2016. After a brief shootout between the police and a suspected drug dealer, the residents of Christiania tore down the stalls and urged people coming to the neighbourhood not to buy cannabis. It was estimated that the community’s efforts led to a drop in marijuana sales of about 75 percent in about 2 months.

Marijuana in Danish politics

Christiania is often referenced in Danish politics. In 2018, the Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti) mentioned the events in Christiania when calling for harsher punishments for cannabis trafficking.

At the moment, most political parties oppose cannabis legalisation or decriminalisation. And the parties that think cannabis should be allowed in society did not gather political support for legislative proposals regarding weed.

However, the issue of cannabis legalisation is constantly brought up in the Danish parliament and media. In 2018, one of the leading members of the Democratic Party’s Parliamentary Group spoke about decriminalising marijuana, contrary to the official party line.

Copenhagen’s city council intends to launch a trial project that would allow cannabis to be sold legally throughout the capital. And 44 out of the city’s 55 representatives voted in favour of a proposal to establish five or six cannabis dispensaries in the capital.

But even though the subject of decriminalising recreational cannabis comes up in politics now and again, medical marijuana has been prominent in the Danish media as of late.

Medical marijuana in Denmark

On the 1st of January 2018, Denmark legalised medicinal marijuana for a four-year trial period. Prior to this, doctors were allowed to prescribe certain cannabis-based products like Sativex to patients who suffered from multiple sclerosis (MS).

The trial period that began in 2018 allowed doctors to prescribe a broad variety of cannabis products that don’t have to be previously approved by the Danish Medicines Agency. In addition, doctors in Denmark can now prescribe marijuana to patients who suffer from spinal cord injuries and chronic pain or are undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

That being said, doctors in Denmark can only prescribe cannabis treatments to patients who have exhausted all conventional treatment options.

One of the things that make this trial program stand out is that Danish patients can receive cannabis prescriptions from doctors operating in other EU countries. Patients who are unable to find a physician willing to prescribe cannabis in Denmark are legally allowed to consult a doctor in Germany or the Netherlands to get their cannabis treatment. Patients can enter Denmark with their medicine as long as they present the prescription.

Is CBD legal in Denmark?

Cannabidiol (CBD) products are legal in Denmark if their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is lower than 0.2 percent. You can buy CBD oil online and in health food stores without a prescription. Companies are not allowed to sell CBD products that claim to have medical benefits.

Will Denmark legalise cannabis anytime soon?

Denmark is now one of the largest cannabis producers in Europe, and the medical marijuana trial shows that the Danish government is planning to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Now, as far as recreational cannabis is concerned, things will probably not change in the near future. Danish lawmakers might wait to see how things develop in neighbouring countries, such as Germany or the Netherlands, before proposing any legislative changes regarding the legal situation of cannabis.

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About author

Victor Bercea

Victor is a staff writer at Strain Insider and a digital marketer. He writes about cannabis, health & wellness, and marketing topics. When he’s not writing, Victor usually wastes time online looking for the perfect gif.