The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was one of the biggest producers of hemp, and before the 1950s, it had over 150,000 hectares dedicated to hemp cultivation. Cannabis wasn't widely used as a recreational drug in Soviet Ukraine, most of the grown hemp would be used for its other natural resources such as oil and fiber.
According to Article 106-2 Code of Administrative Offences Ukraine, cultivation (without intent to sell) up to 10 cannabis plants qualifies as an administrative violation, with a fine of from 18 to 100 non-taxable income units (₴300-1,700 in 2011) and the seizure of plants.
Cannabis March of Freedom (2017)
On 30 January 2019, the Ukrainian Association of Medical Cannabis created a petition with the backing of 16 public organizations on the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) website. The petition said that medical cannabis could greatly help over two million Ukrainians suffering from a wide range of ailments, including epilepsy, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. Acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun supported petition and called for the promotion of legalization medical cannabis.
In March, the petition received the required 25,000 signatures for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada. Subsequently, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations unanimously supported the petition and it was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on 20 May.
On 25 October 2020, Zelenskyy announced a non-binding national referendum. The fourth question was: "Do you support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes – to reduce pain in critically ill patients?" Former Minister of Health Ulana Suprun wrote on her official Facebook page that "Cannabis should be available to all patients who need it. There are about 2 million such patients in Ukraine." 64.88% of the participants responded positively, with 29.53% voicing their opposition.
"Let Ukraine Grow" campaign
Public activists with the participation of the non-governmental organization "Ukrainian Hemp Association" and employees of many shops related to the cannabis industry in April 2023 began to assemble a team to hold a peaceful action to stop the stigmatization of cannabis and to encourage public support for its decriminalization. On 20 April 2023, the activists started a campaign including free distribution of hemp seeds to everyone. The campaign was supported by large seed shops in Ukraine, such as ErrorSeeds. As part of the effort, decriminalization activists sowed cannabis seeds throughout Ukraine, particularly in public places. Their effort was primarily focused on the legalization of medical cannabis, but also recreational cannabis.
Medical legalisation (2023)
On 7 July 2023, The Ministry of Health of Ukraine supported the legalisation of cannabis-based medicines, which was advocated by Zelenskyy and deputy head of the department, chief state sanitary doctor Ihor Kuzin.
On 13 July 2023, the Verkhovna Rada passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis.
- Поперечна, Дарія (9 April 2021). "В Україні легалізували використання медичного канабісу, але не всього". УП.Життя (in Ukrainian).
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- Ющенко, Віктор (19 March 2009). "Про внесення змін до Кодексу України про адміністративні правопорушення та Кримінального кодексу України щодо посилення відповідальності за незаконний посів або незаконне вирощування снотворного маку чи конопель (№ 1165-VI)". Верховна Рада України.
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- 2017 Cannabis March of Freedom in Ukraine. Facebook
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- "Ukrainian Hemp Association". Ukrainian Hemp Association. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
- "Let Ukraine Grow - Movement for the Legalization of Cannabis". canna-ukraine.com. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
- Cheplyk, Roman (7 July 2023). "From Prohibition to Progress: The Changing Landscape of Medical Marijuana in Ukraine". GTInvest. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
- Cheplyk, Roman (13 July 2023). "Driving Progress: Leveraging Privileges for the Development of Cannabis-based Medicinal Products in Ukraine". GTInvest. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
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