Draft Amendment Will Regulate Sale of CBD Products and Kratom

Drug experts say that some substances, such as kratom (pictured) are not so dangerous that they should be banned completely. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, May 24 (CTK) – CBD, HHC, and kratom could be added to a new list of “psychomodulatory substances”, which should be included in the upcoming amendment on addictive substances, Czech national drug policy coordinator Jindrich Voboril told journalists yesterday.

The amendment should lay down rules for the sale and control of these substances, Voboril said, adding that he was convinced that product bans and repression would lead to the emergence of a black market and negative health impacts.

Drug experts say that the substances are not so dangerous that they should be banned completely.

A ban on CBD cannabidiol products was recently proposed by Agriculture Minister Zdenek Nekula (KDU-CSL).

Last week, after a meeting with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartos (Pirates) and experts, he withdrew his proposal for the time being.

Health Minister Vlastimil Valek (TOP 09) said he was ready to propose a ban on kratom.

“The law with a list of psychomodulating substances is ready in a paragraphed text with an explanatory report. We have a fifth version of the amendment,” Voboril said.

He said the finalisation of the amendment would take about a month. Negotiations with representatives of the relevant inspectorates should also take place, which could then  monitor the products.

Voboril said his goal was to push the standard through this year so that it would take effect from 2024. The law would probably not be presented by the government, but by MPs, he added.

He wants to win the support of lawmakers from both the coalition and the opposition.

The cannabidiols CBD and HHC come from hemp; kratom is a tropical plant. In small amounts they can have medicinal effects, in large doses they are depressants. They are sold as oils, tinctures, tablets or powder. Experts consider these substances to be less dangerous, but recommend clear rules for their sale and control. For CBD, unlike other herbal substances, the situation is more complex, according to Voboril.

Products made from CBD must undergo complex certification. In the Czech Republic, CBD could also be included in the list of psychomodulatory products.

The sale of products containing substances from this list would be strictly regulated. Young people under 18 would not be able to buy them. It would also be specified how much of a substance a product could contain, which would then be inspected and monitored.

According to Voboril, the list would be open to any new substances that appear on the market. The coordinator believes that other such substances “are certainly already in stock.”

There are around five hundred compounds on the list of banned substances in the Czech Republic. According to Voboril, the list could also be reassessed over time and less dangerous substances could possibly be reclassified as psychomodulatory substances.

The government’s policy statement says that the regulation of addictive substances should be in line with their level of harm. The cabinet says it wants to tackle addictions according to a “scientifically proven and balanced approach to risk prevention and harm reduction”. It has also pledged to ensure sufficient money for prevention and services.

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