On Friday 21 July 2023, the Albanian Parliament adopted a law which legalizes medical cannabis and industrial hemp (“Cannabis Law”). The Cannabis Law allows licensed companies to cultivate and process cannabis and determines the criteria which must be met to obtain such a permit, but also regulates the cultivation process of the plant and the production of its by-products for medical and industrial purposes.

The Cannabis Law foresees the establishment of a national agency for the control and monitoring of cultivation and processing of the cannabis plant for medical and industrial purposes, as well as the production of its by-products (“Cannabis Agency”). To perform such competencies effectively, the Cannabis Agency should closely cooperate with the Albanian police and other public authorities. According to the Cannabis Law, the Licensing Commission at the Cannabis Agency (composed of representatives from different ministries) would grant cannabis manufacturing licenses for 15 years, with an option for renewal. The activities to be carried out pursuant to the licenses cannot be assigned to third parties unless otherwise provided in the license.

Albania has favourable climate for cannabis cultivation, and it has been estimated that outdoor cannabis can be grown between six to seven months out of the year with no environmental issues. The Albanian government plans to utilize such favourable conditions to boost tax revenue and the country’s economic growth.

24th July 2023

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