Tag: slovenia

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Europe’s Most Cannabis-Friendly Country

Not long ago, just the mention of the words ‘Europe’ and ‘cannabis’ conjured up one name and image only – Amsterdam. While the police were busting down doors and arresting people left and right in most other countries around the world, Holland was a cannabis Valhalla of sorts. A place where you could be left alone to smoke your weed in peace, sans disruption, sans incarceration. For the last ten years Spain has, by some people’s assessment, taken over Holland’s venerable spot as the number one cannabis destination in Europe, as coffeeshop style venues have popped up all over the country, particularly in the city of Barcelona.

That all being said, neither The Netherlands nor Spain are Europe’s most cannabis friendly country. In fact, the irony is that Dutch and Spanish cannabis users are still looked down upon by the majority of their fellow citizens. Only deep in these countries’ urban enclaves is the culture of using cannabis looked upon as ‘no big deal.’

The Dutch and Spanish cannabis clubs are frequented by tourists, and the locals that hang out in the coffeeshops/clubs are often looked upon by their respective societies as ‘fringe.’ If a colleague from work catches them coming out of a coffee shop, it could be a slight embarrassment. Cannabis, though quasi-legal in Holland and Spain, is still stigmatized to a high degree.

There is one little gem of a country in Europe, tucked between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, where most of the entire country seems to be OK with cannabis use. That country is Slovenia. I have spent extensive time in Slovenia, as I have in Holland, and I have never seen a place in Europe where cannabis use was not only de-stigmatized, but also seemingly promoted by the majority of society in some way or another. Many family households in Slovenia even grow a few plants outside in the summer. Oftentimes Slovenians have even shown me pictures of their grandmas in the garden tending to cannabis. Slovenia is a green land (literally) with 65% of the country covered by forest. It looks like Switzerland, but has half the population density.

It is an agricultural society, and cannabis is looked at merely as another product that the Slovenians get from their beautiful mother earth, along with their wine, olives, honey, wild mushrooms and herbs, ubiquitous home vegetable gardens and abundant fruit trees. Slovenia is a literal garden of Eden, and if you like cannabis, it is in abundance and not expensive. Rick Simpson oil is known by the entire country. They don’t necessarily see it as a miracle cure for cancer, but rather, an aide to help the healing process ensue. The oil is readily available in Slovenia, and the government turns a compassionate eye to it, as it is used mainly for very sick people that need non-invasive treatment with non-detrimental side effects.

The capital city of Ljubljana feels like a little Prague with ever so slight hints of Berlin. It is a small city, but jammed packed with things to do. There are more outdoor cafes here per capita than almost any other European city. And, as far as I can tell, weed is effectively legal in Slovenia, or at least it feels that way. Almost every bar I have ever been to in Slovenia’s Capital allows smoking cannabis, or at least turns a blind eye to it. Is cannabis technically legal in Slovenia? No. However, small amounts are decriminalized, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time until Slovenia opens up a taxed and regulated adult use-market.

Being in Slovenia is like being dropped into a fairy tale, as it is consistently rated a top-ten “safest country in the world” by all the major indices. One would be hard pressed to find a more intelligent, vibrant, rational and sophisticated nation than the tiny, quaint and civilized, 2 million person mountain-nation of Slovenia. There is no doubt that the citizens of Slovenia are ready to legalize cannabis. It makes perfect sense.


Research Nature Institute University of Ljubljana seminar

Research Nature Institute Bringing Cannabis Healthcare Seminar To University Of Ljubljana

The cannabis plant is arguably the most helpful plant on earth, especially when it comes to wellness benefits. Cannabis, and the cannabinoid-based products derived from it, have been found to effectively treat numerous health conditions, as evidenced by a growing body of peer-reviewed research and patient experiences.

Unfortunately, many in the healthcare field are not as knowledgeable about the cannabis plant and its wellness properties as they should be. Given how prevalent cannabis use is in society, particularly for medical purposes, it’s vital that members of the healthcare community know the science behind the cannabis plant and how to use it effectively to treat various conditions.

An amazing opportunity to learn more about cannabinoids and their role in healthcare is coming to the University of Ljubljana later this month. The Research Nature Institute, in conjunction with university faculty, is hosting a two-part cannabis healthcare seminar on October 19th and 26th.

The two-part seminar at the University of Ljubljana is the second event of its type at the institution, with a prior seminar taking place back in May. It is the third education event by the Research Nature Institute recognized by the Medical Chamber of Slovenia and the Chamber of Nurses of Slovenia.

Topics to be covered during the seminar later this month include:

– information as facts – and separate it from misinformation,
– the situation in the field of medical use of cannabis in Slovenia,
– policy in the field of cannabis and cannabinoids in Slovenia and in the world,
– clinical approaches to cannabis therapies in Israel,
– theory and the practice of using cannabis with medical vaporizers,
– methods and success of using cannabis among older adults in the world,
– methods of applying cannabis to healthy and sick populations,
– experiences of treatment with cannabinoids in Germany,
– experiences with cannabis in complementary medicine (Israel).

The seminar’s program will include world class speakers, which is itself a testament to the quality of the seminar, as well as a testament to the increased international cannabis community focus on Slovenia and the greater Balkan region.

The event will be moderated by journalist Mr. Gorazd Rečnik and will be available online in addition to in-person, so everyone around the globe is encouraged to attend. You can find out more, and register, at the seminar’s webpage on the university’s website.


About the Research Nature Institute

The Research Nature Institute researches the efficacy and safety of natural remedies that are currently available or are of limited access to persons in need. By setting standards for quality control and standardization, providing accreditation programs, and taking part in clinical trials, the Research Nature Institute aims to ensure natural remedies are clean (free of contaminants) and effective at known dosages to the user. Underlying its mission is to educate the public, medical professionals and legislators of its findings based on sound scientific methodologies and principles.


Slovenia flag

Leading Public Health Expert Calls For Slovenia To Embrace Cannabis Reform

Slovenia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Located in central Europe, Slovenia is bordered by Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and to the southwest by Italy. With so much going on in Europe on the cannabis industry and policy fronts, Slovenia may not be the first place that comes to mind when it comes to the emerging cannabis industry. However, the nation is home to a growing cannabis community and reform efforts there recently received a huge boost from a leading public health expert.

Cf. Dušan Nolimal, Ph.D. recently published an extensive op-ed via one of Slovenia’s largest media outlets, Delo, in which he called on lawmakers to pass a number of cannabis reform measures. Dr. Nolimal also urged lawmakers to take meaningful steps to create a policy and regulatory framework in Slovenia that is conducive to helping the nation become an international cannabis hub. It’s a very thoughtful and thorough op-ed that everyone should read. For more information regarding Dr. Nolimal, I suggest that you check out his bio at this link here.

The Economic Benefits Of Legalization

Slovenia is home to roughly two million people, with the major industries in the country being pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, electrical appliances, and food processing. The nation’s GDP ranks 29th in Europe and 82nd globally. Slovenia, like all countries, would greatly benefit from embracing the emerging cannabis industry and the economic boost that it creates, including boosts to local economies, job creation, and tax revenue generation. That is in addition to the government savings that would instantly be achieved by Slovenia no longer enforcing failed cannabis prohibition policies.

A large sector of Slovenia’s economy is based on food. According to World Atlas, “About 704 companies were registered in the sector in 2015 employing about 12,658 people. The income generated from the sector amounted to $2.27 billion. The sector is among the third largest employers in processing activities alongside the production of electrical appliances and metal working.”

Slovenia’s chemical and pharmaceutical sector employs roughly 26,000 people, with 72% of the sector’s sales coming from the export market. The food sector and the pharmaceutical sector may not seem like a logical combination to non-cannabis observers, however, people involved in the emerging cannabis industry will be quick to recognize the enormous demand for medical-grade cannabis edibles, and that the demand is only going to increase for the foreseeable future.

According to global data company Technavio, the global cannabis-infused edible product market is anticipated to grow by USD 25.27 billion from 2020 to 2025, and the sector will increase in size by roughly 21.74% annually. Slovenia is well-positioned to gain a sizable share of that specific sector, and it’s just one of the many examples of how a legalized and embraced cannabis industry in Slovenia can help bring jobs and economic benefits to the country. Other examples include, but are certainly not limited to: cannabis research, industry intellectual property development, ancillary industry equipment manufacturing, and raw material processing.

The Opportunity Costs Of Delaying

A major point that is highlighted in Dr. Nolimal’s op-ed is that time is not frozen while lawmakers in Slovenia drag their feet on reforming the nation’s cannabis laws. Countries across Europe are reforming their laws, creating regulations, and ramping up their cannabis industry efforts, not the least of which is Germany. And all the while people are consuming cannabis for medical and adult use in Slovenia every day, albeit not legally.

The longer that Slovenia waits, the farther behind it will be compared to other countries that embraced cannabis reform and the emerging cannabis industry earlier. It may also result in Slovenia having less input on what its future cannabis laws and public health strategies contain, as pointed out by Dr. Nolimal in his op-ed.

“If the Ministry of Health delays until cannabis is approved by other European countries, foreign commercial entities will be able to have a very significant influence on the determination of national legislation regarding cannabis in our country.” Dr. Nolimal stated in his op-ed piece.

“This could be a major problem, as the commercial interest in cannabis may be diametrically opposed to the interests of the public health profession, which should already be advocating a zero-tolerance policy for young and vulnerable groups and moderate use and risk reduction for adults.” Dr. Nolimal went on to state.

Cannabis reform is spreading across Europe, and once Germany launches its legalized adult-use industry it will no doubt result in a tidal wave of reform within the European continent as well as elsewhere on the planet. It would be very wise for Slovenia’s lawmakers to heed Dr. Nolimal’s advice and reform the nation’s cannabis laws as soon as possible, and build a regulated cannabis industry that harnesses the skills, talent, and resources that are already in Slovenia, and with it, create once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunities for Slovenia’s citizens.

Dušan Nolimal, slovenia

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