Uzbekistan legalized industrial hemp by an amendment to its law on 17 March, signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
A legal entity, having obtained a license, will be able to cultivate, import and export, process, store, sell (distribute), acquire and transport cannabis with a tetrahydrocannabinol content of up to 0.2%. The statement said.
The hemp will have to be used for industrial purposes, unrelated to the production or manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
The Cabinet of Ministers should now determine the varieties of hemp authorized for cultivation, the conditions for their cultivation and processing, and the procedure for issuing licenses for this type of activity.
The use of cannabis is severely punished in Uzbekistan. Any “involvement in use” is punishable by three years’ community service or three years’ imprisonment. If more than one person is found to be using cannabis, the penalty can be increased from six months to five years in prison. The sale of cannabis is punishable by 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Cannabis can theoretically be cultivated by state enterprises and for scientific purposes. The country does not offer a medical cannabis program, but the law allows it if it complies with the regulations established by the Ministry of Health. Treatments may be distributed in pharmacies or therapeutic establishments, provided that such places hold the appropriate licenses.