Ukraine set to legalize medical marijuana

ukraine medical marijuana

Lawmakers in Ukraine have approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana in the war-torn country. The Ukrainian parliament passed the bill with 248 votes, arguing the plant may help ease the stress of the ongoing conflict with Russia.

The legislation is fairly restrictive, with the only qualifying conditions listed as cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, government officials may add other serious illnesses after receiving citizen feedback.

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Cultivation and processing are expected to mainly occur within Ukraine, although the bill does allow for importation of raw materials if needed. Distribution will be strictly controlled, and recreational cannabis consumption will remain illegal.

The bill will now travel to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is expected to sign. During his campaign for president in 2019, Zelenskyy advocated for the sale of cannabis “droplets,” thought to mean medicinal tinctures.

The Ukrainian leader again called for the legalization of medical marijuana to help people cope with the stress of war last summer during a government address.

“We must finally fairly legalize cannabis-based medicines for all those who need them, with appropriate scientific research and controlled Ukrainian production,” Zelenskyy said in a speech last June.

Ukraine’s new medical marijuana law will take effect six months after its signing. The country has been ravaged by violence since February 2022, when Russian troops invaded. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and injured since the conflict erupted. 

Cannabis has been shown promise as a treatment for PTSD, with studies signaling a reduction in symptoms such as panic attacks and hyper-vigilance. The decision by Ukrainian lawmakers to approve medical marijuana in the country could provide welcome respite for those dealing with the immense trauma of war.

Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter