The Republic of North Macedonia is one of the few places in the world that allows for the cultivation and exportation of medical cannabis. North Macedonia legalized the growth of marijuana for medicinal purposes on February 9, 2016. This makes North Macedonia one of the few countries in the world that allow for cultivation and export of the plant – opening its doors to entrepreneurs and investors. The Macedonian pharmaceutical market is currently valued at over €145.6m per annum and North Macedonia imports over 50% of its medical products.
Our country has decided to take a free market approach to cannabis cultivation, distribution and sale, mirroring Canada’s approach to these – allowing for private companies to cultivate and distribute the plant in North Macedonia. Our approach to cannabis cultivation offers numerous advantages in terms of medicinal cannabis innovation and product pricing, placing the Republic of North Macedonia in the central position in the cannabis industry within the region and in a unique place in the European cannabis market.
Permit for cannabis cultivation
The legal entity shall be obliged to meet the following conditions:
The application for obtaining an approval for the cultivation of cannabis shall be submitted to the Ministry of Health.
Procedure for sowing/planting cannabis
The legal entity that has an approval for cannabis cultivation, before starting the sowing/planting, shall be obliged to submit an application to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy for the purpose of obtaining an approval for sowing/planting of cannabis.
The legal entity, after the obtaining of the approval for cannabis sowing/planting (hereinafter referred to as: cannabis cultivator), shall be obliged, prior to the start of the sowing/planting of the cannabis seeds, to inform the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices.
Procedure for harvesting and drying hemp
The cannabis cultivator shall submit a report to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy and the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices about the completed process of cultivation and the obtained total dry weight, within three days as of the day of the completed process of cultivation.
Permit for production of hemp extracts
The legal entity submits a Permit Request with supporting documents to the AMMD (Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices), which makes a decision upon reviewing the Request.
According to the existing legislation, only the export of final products (extracts, granules, oil, and similar) is permitted. The companies that cultivate cannabis in North Macedonia are not allowed to export the plant and therefore freeze the flowers (fresh or dried).
The final products can be classified, and hence exported, as three types, depending on the THC content present in the product:
The AMMD is the official body that grants a Permit for the export of Border Line Products and Medicines.