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Greece could become one of the largest cannabis producers in Europe if it plays its cards correctly.

Drug Law Offense (DLO) data are the basis for observing drug-related crime and are also a division of law enforcement action and drug market dynamics; they may use it to suggest policies on the implementation of drug regulations and improve the systems.

So, even if you might get on with a fine, the entire adventure might be a really unpleasant one.

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Specialists believe that, by building a cannabis industry in Greece, the economy will be increased significantly. Investors consider that the European medical marijuana market could be worth over EUR 50 billion in yearly sales.

Greek approaches to marijuana have changed noticeably in recent years. Once regarded as a serious, Class A drug, its current downgrading to Class B indicates a growing public opinion change.

This is important, not only for sufferers in Greece demanding medical treatment but also for the economy of the country as a whole. Its warm weather is perfect for the growth of the cannabis plant and could help Greece financially in the future.

However, the authorities announced it as a threat to the community, and since then, they have made strict rules regarding cannabis usage in Greece.

Because of its history, Greece stands out as a producer of cannabis. In the 20s the consumption of grass spread quickly when the Greeks who returned from Turkey brought the hashish smoking habit there back to their country. Hashish is regularly smoked at cafes, in the Piraeus Port area, and the centre of Athens, according to a study on various aspects of its use.

This measure comes after several Syriza MPs called for the legalisation of medical cannabis. But we will need to wait to see if they are able to pull it off: the findings of the expert group will not be known until 30 October, and it could always come to nothing.

Supporters of the legalisation festival look to Uruguay as a model, where every citizen can grow up to six plants, provided that they are not for sale. They also insist on the economic benefits that legalisation would entail. In a letter to Tsipras the protesters estimated that the measure would bring in revenues of 2.5 million euros and the creation of 40,000 new jobs.

The opening up of a very restrictive country

Currently the personal possession of marijuana is punishable by up to five months of imprisonment, which can be substituted for a rehabilitation program in some cases. Only five years ago the punishment stipulated for people caught with any type of drug, even small amounts, was much greater. Specifically, up to five years. An amendment in 2013 reduced the jail time as long as the crop was for oneself, because its sale is punishable by a minimum of eight years of incarceration. The problem is that what constitutes “a small amount” is left up to the judge, who also must decide whether its use is personal or not. Still, the regulation is considerably tougher than in other countries, like Spain, where one can consume cannabis in private. As for medical marijuana, there is no specific legislation.

Another sign that suggests a more open attitude is the celebration of the first Athens Cannabis Protestival. Launched in May at the famous Syntagma Square, the demonstrators called for the legalisation of marijuana and the decriminalisation of personal consumption. Specifically, the slogan of the march was the struggle for the individual’s right to use the substances of their choice.

In 2011, then-Justice Minister Miltiades Papaioannou proposed decriminalising small amounts of grass. The Council of Ministers ended up approving a bill, but the measure by Papaïoannou, then a member of the World Commission on Drug Policies, never became a reality.

Greek legislation governing cannabis is very conservative compared to that in other European countries. However, it seems that something is shifting, and that the Hellenistic nation is willing to introduce a new legal framework. In May the first marijuana festival was held, and in April the Government legalised industrial hemp after 60 years of prohibition.

In order to thrive, cannabis plants require warmth and sunlight. This is something that southern European nations such as Greece have plenty of. Establishing cannabis plantations in the country makes good business sense, and the easy access to other European countries is also an advantage.

While CBD is not widely used in Greece, it is starting to become more popular. This is largely due to the change in law regarding medicinal use. If the CBD oil is harvested from EU-certified plants, then it is legally acceptable to purchase or sell it.

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This article on Top 9 Tips for Growing Cannabis Outdoors might be of interest to you.

Under Greece’s current licensing system, cannabis medical products can be obtained on prescription from pharmacists. They are not yet subsidised through the state. Exact numbers of patients are not known, but it is believed that thousands currently use cannabis to alleviate symptoms associated with various medical conditions.

The 2013 amendment introduced a more lenient stance, though it is still strict when compared to other European countries. If caught with a small quantity of cannabis for personal use, you may be sentenced to no more than five months in prison. The offence will not be added to your criminal record, on the condition that the same offence isn’t repeated within a five-year period.