• A bill to legalise recreational cannabis in Iceland has been introduced to Iceland’s Parliament
  • Over 20s would legally have the right to grow, purchase and consume cannabis
  • The Bill will be voted on after Iceland’s General Election in October

A bill which would legalise recreational cannabis was introduced to Iceland’s Parliament last week.

Under the bill, adults over 20 years-old would legally be able to purchase, consume and grow their own cannabis, once a government permit has been obtained.

Retailers will also be permitted to sell cannabis and any affiliated products (e.g. edibles or paraphernalia). However, it will be up to individual municipalities to issue licenses for the existence of these establishments, and all employees must be older than 20 years of age.

While consuming cannabis in these stores will remain illegal, lounges and restaurants will be permitted to allow customers to use cannabis in their premises via government licensing.

Similar to UK tobacco laws, all cannabis products must have their THC levels printed on the packages to inform consumers of the potency; products will be in grey, plain packaging, labeled with black text on a white background, much like our cigarette packets.

Bland UK tobacco pack

Packages will also contain the name of the manufacturer, name of the product, type of product, description of contents, and health hazards.

Advertising of cannabis and paraphernalia will remain banned.

“Regulation gives us the option to control prices and control access.”
– MP Pawel Bartoszek

Speaking to Marijuana.com, the bill’s author MP Pawel Bartoszek expressed his reasoning for opting for full legalisation, opposed to decriminalisation:

“I hear in the discussion that many people would like to see some sort of decriminalization as the first approach. I simply think that the [legalization] solution is more effective than decriminalization.

“Regulation gives us the option to control prices and control access.”

“The reaction to the bill has been strong, from both sides. I have three co-sponsors, Sigrún Ingibjörg Gísladóttir from Reform and Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson and Jón Þór Ólafsson from The Pirate Party.

“In Iceland, we fine 1,000 people a year for various drug offenses. I want that to end and this is the right way to do it.”

According to the World Drug Report 2016, roughly 18.3% of Icelanders use cannabis a year.

World Drug Report map of cannabis use

Out of 334,252 Icelanders, 60,000 are regularly using cannabis. 60,000 people could benefit from this bill, not to mention the country’s economy.

In 2015, Colorado took in $198.5 million in tax revenue from in-state cannabis sales of $1.3 billion. That’s up from $699.2 million in sales in 2014 and $996.2 million in 2015 sales.

The Bill has a long way to go before becoming law. A General Election campaign is currently underway in the Northern European country, so it cannot be debated and voted on until the result of the election are known.

Would you like to see the UK adopt the proposed measures in Iceland’s recreational cannabis bill? Let us know in the comments!