Help me buy and transport hemp seeds without breaking the law?
August 17, 2014 11:23 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy this hemp seed for my friend in Finland. I do not want to and am not willing to break any laws. If I obtain it, is it legal to take to Finland personally? Is it legal to send it in the mail? What laws are relevant? As far as I understand it's super low THC and is legal in many places. Thanks
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Cannabis use is not legalized in Finland, though there a limited exceptions for medical use. Import of drug precursors in strictly regulated, both in Finland and across the EU.

I don't have a definitive answer about importing hemp seeds, but one of the main Finnish health bodies (Fimea) has an overview of import/export restrictions for narcotics, as well as an accompanying FAQ.

From them:
Authorisation for narcotics import and export can be granted to private entrepreneurs, such as pharmaceutical producers, medical wholesalers (subject to wholesale authorisation), pharmacies, hospital pharmacies for the purpose of drug manufacture and other therapeutic uses, legal persons, universities and other research institutes for the manufacture of substances, preparations and test systems used for detecting drugs and for research and product development purposes (see Section 9 of the Narcotics Act 373/2008 and the Section 17, paragraph 1 of the Medicines Act).
The Finnish customs agency (Tulli) produces an annual report which includes marijuana/cannabis interdictions. You can access the reports here.

The main Finnish cannabis advocacy organization is called SKY. Unfortunately their website is entirely in Finnish, but if you can contact them, they will probably have a better idea of the legal lay of the land.

If you are committed to doing this legally and want to proceed, I would advise that you contact both an Finnish attorney with expertise in this field and a customs broker. Any advice you get on the internet telling you that it is safe to proceed should be regarded as highly suspect. On the other hand, any advice you get on the internet telling you that shipping drugs (or soon-to-be drugs) across international borders is a terrible idea can be safely listened to.
posted by whitewall at 12:27 AM on August 18, 2014

Ungerminated cannabis seeds - of any variety - are legal throughout the European Union. They are not "drug precursors" in any meaningful sense. They're seeds, commonly found in both human and animal food.
posted by Ted Maul at 4:48 AM on August 18, 2014

I'd be more concerned with agricultural laws than drug policies. Some countries are very strict about seeds and produce.
posted by emd3737 at 5:19 AM on August 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Some countries are very strict about seeds and produce.

This is true but cannabis or hemp are not on the banned or restricted list for seed or plant material import for Finland. I have no idea if it's legal from a narcotic point of view, but it appears to be clear from a biosafety point of view. Evira, the Finnish Food Safety Authority I linked to there, may be able to give more specific advice on that front and also know who to refer you to for the rest.
posted by shelleycat at 11:43 AM on August 18, 2014

It would be safer to find a retailer that will send the seeds themselves and remove the liability (and anxiety) from you. The cost of time and research plus worry I think would be a greater cost than shipping.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:09 PM on August 18, 2014

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