Imagine smoking a joint of the finest kush, taking a bite of a sizzling pierogi, and washing it down with an artisan Polish beer during a warm summer in the country’s capital, Warsaw. Unfortunately, recreational cannabis use isn’t legal in this Central European nation just yet.
Medical cannabis use and possession was legalized and went into effect at the end of 2017. Out-of-country travelers, however, can finally smoke whole hemp flowers and products, albeit, with some crucial caveats. Here’s what you need to know about CBD consumption in Poland.
A Trip to the Capital: Warsaw
On a recent vacation/work trip to Europe, I took my carry-on suitcase and a few souvenirs to the nation’s capital, Warsaw. I had very limited knowledge about Poland’s medical program and decriminalization efforts, but didn’t expect to walk by a full-fledged hemp store in the city’s Old Town. Mops Coffeeshop, was in fact, not a coffee shop, but did sell CBD joints, edibles, oils, joints, and other cannabis-related paraphernalia.
Mops Coffeeshop has two centrally-located brick-and-mortar shops, one in Warsaw and the other in Kraków. I bought a CBD pre-roll to enjoy while watching the scheduled Multimedia Fountain Park light show that happens every week in the park. While smoking CBD in public is generally not recommended, travelers should keep the receipt of purchase in case of a run-in with law enforcement.
I witnessed a vibrant and hypnotic light show while sampling some of Poland’s finest hemp flower buds. I felt calm and content while the radiant display continued in the background. Warsaw has plentiful and inspiring parks to lounge about and enjoy a coffee or picnic with a friend.
Polish Cannabis Laws
Cannabis has largely been considered unsafe by Polish citizens and lawmakers, but the plant wasn’t criminalized until 1997. In 2011, Poland softened its stance on possession of a small amount of marijuana. Prosecutors were able to drop cases of possession of small amounts of marijuana since then. Penalties for possession of large amounts, however, were increased from 10 too 12 years in prison. Many Polish lawmakers are showing increased support for full legalization.
For now, only Polish citizens are able to acquire medical marijuana. All they need is a prescription from a doctor stating that they can benefit from medical cannabis. A patient must also have tried other treatment options without success. Poland doesn’t have a specific list of qualifying medical conditions.
Medical cannabis is generally expensive since its imported. Domestic cultivation is not available. The country relies on cannabis from foreign major producers including two Canadian mega-producers, Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth. They are authorized to provide pharmacies with medical cannabis products. Grams go for about 13 to 16 USD.
Mops Coffeeshop in Warsaw and Kraków, Poland
You won’t find these CBD shops everywhere. For now, Mops Coffeeshop provides two cities with hemp joints, flowers, e-liquids, edibles, and topicals. Its intimate and well-stocked store features a prominent “Cannabis” neon light hanging proudly in its shop. Pre-rolls can run you anywhere from 19 to 22 zloty (around $5 USD). Stop by anytime between 12 pm to 10 pm every day.
The future of cannabis in Poland is unclear, but it’s proven to slowly be easing into a cannabis-friendly environment. Compared to other European countries, Poland has a relatively progressive agenda, but continues to be expanding its medical cannabis market. If you’ll be traveling to Warsaw, I highly recommend visiting Warsaw’s Neon Museum, vegan establishments, and rooftop garden after responsibly imbibing in some CBD products.