Sixteen Czech firms have presented their bids for licences to grow and sell medical marihuana to pharmacies, the State Institute for Drug Control said on Friday. In the first phase of the two-round tender, the institute will review technical conditions while price will be the decisive factor in the second round. The winner will receive a licence to supply 40 kilos of medical marihuana. The drug is now legally imported from the Netherlands but no patients have been prescribed medical marihuana so far due to issues with prescription procedures, the news agency ČTK reported.
With Vietnamese gangs getting increasingly involved in the drug crime scene in the Czech Republic, the Czech authorities have requested assistance from Vietnam’s police and judiciary in dealing with the problem. A meeting of the country’s interior ministers on Monday paved the way for close cooperation in fighting drug-related crime. More
The Czech police have discovered 62 drug labs, 63 marihuana grow-ops and charged 429 people with drug-related offences in a major anti-drug operation, police president Tomáš Tuhý told a news conference in Prague on Friday. Detectives have also seized 16 kilos of illicit substances in the labs as well as 43 kilos of marihuana during the operation that lasted two months. In total, 108 of those charged were foreign nationals, Mr Tuhý said, adding the operation focused on regions bordering on Germany. The Czech police are cooperating with their German colleagues to curb exports of methamphetamine from the Czech Republic to Germany.
In this week’s Business News: major Prague development gets final clearance; PPF aims high with skyscraper investment; troubled waters seen for Karlovarské Minerální Vody; calls goes out to hash growers; and finance minister invests in infertility business. More
Some 8,000 people marched through the centre of the Czech capital on Saturday in support of marihuana legalization, part of the international Million Marihuana March event. Organizers said the number of participants was higher than last year; two people were arrested over for possesing small amounts of dry cannabis, a police spokesman said. Under Czech law, possession or growing of marihuana for personal use is a minor offence; earlier this year, however, the anti-drug unit of the Czech police raided a number of shops offering marihuana seeds and equipment for growing the illicit drug, raising concerns of a more stricter approach towards recreational marihuana growers and users.
The Supreme Court has set the amounts of illicit drugs that the police and judiciary should regard as “more than a small amount”. The new figures are stricter than the previous ones in the case of marijuana, with possession of 10 grammes (down from 15) considered a criminal offence. Similarly possessing 1.5 grammes (down from 2) of meta-amphetamines is illegal. However, the amounts are for orientation and other factors also apply, a court spokesperson said. Upper limits for possession were previously set by a government edict, but that was struck down by the Constitutional Court.
When the law on medical marihuana came into force in February of last year it seemed that the way was now open for patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases to use the drug under medical supervision without having to acquire it secretly in violation of the law. However, despite the good intentions of MPs who pushed through the legislation, little has changed in the past year and cannabis remains unavailable legally. More
Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček spent four days in Israel to learn about their system of medical marihuana cultivation and distribution, Czech TV reported on Saturday. After returning to Prague, Mr Němeček said the Israeli system was an inspiration for the Czech Republic which allows the use of cannabis in the treatment of some diseases. However, medical marihuana cannot be grown in the country, and so far only one Czech firm won a license to import it.
The police detained four men suspected of having illegally distributed marijuana in parts of the Czech Republic and Poland since 2011. Three were charged with illegal production; two were remanded in custody. During the police raid, officers seized 31 kilos of the drug with a street value of around two million crowns. The head of the apparent gang is a Polish national who has lived in the Czech Republic for several years. If found guilty, the suspects could spend up to 12 years in prison.
One on OnePolice chose “wrong weapon” in raids on marijuana cultivation suppliers, says owner Michal Otipka
In November, the Czech police’s drugs unit raided dozens of “grow shops”, businesses that sell products necessary for the cultivation of marijuana. The police justified the large-scale confiscation of goods on the grounds that a court had ruled it was illegal for the shops to offer in one place everything needed to grow the drug, from seeds to literature. This is disputed by the grow shop owners, including my guest today, Michal Otipka, who runs four in Prague. Before we got on to the legal niceties, I asked Otipka how he’d first got into the business. More