More details to follow:
In Danish legislation, the cannabis plant is listed in Schedule A of the “Ordinance on Euphoriant Drugs” (Annex 1), which means that cannabis is a controlled substance that is illegal to possess without a permit from the state. Cannabis is defined as:
“Cannabis” (meaning all above-ground parts of plants of the genus Cannabis from which the resin has not been removed. However, fruits of the hemp plant (hemp seeds) and hemp seeds in isolated state are excluded ).
Cannabis seeds and hemp seeds (taver=fiber) are therefore exempt and perfectly legal to buy/sell/possess.
The limit for when it becomes illegal is, as it appears, at the aboveground parts, which means that it is only at the germination of the seed that it becomes a Schedule A substance.
Furthermore, based on the “Law on Euphoriants” §3, paragraph 3, it is not legal to sell cannabis seeds to persons who intend to grow them. This is considered as intentional aiding and abetting offence 2.
As a member of the EU and the UN, Denmark is obliged to follow agreed rules and references. Of course, these also have an impact on Danish legislation, but what does it actually say?
The governing UN convention on cannabis is the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 (revised 1972).
Here, Article 28(2) says “Control of Cannabis”:
“This Convention shall not apply to the cultivation of the cannabis plant exclusively for industrial purposes (fibre and seed) or horticultural purposes” 3
This means that cannabis seeds and fibre are not covered by the statutes of the Convention, which is exactly the same exception as we saw in the Danish “Bekendtgørelse om euforisende stoffer”.
Article 28(3) further states:
“The Parties shall adopt such measures as may be necessary to prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, the leaves of the cannabis plant.”
The UN member states, including Denmark, are thus committed to developing laws and measures to prevent the illegal use and spread of cannabis. It is this article that the anti-cannabis politicians refer to when they say that Denmark will comply with the international conventions on cannabis.
The European Union
As an EU country, Denmark is also obliged to comply with a number of provisions. This area is covered by the EMCDDA, which is responsible for monitoring drugs etc. in the EU.
The regulations say:
“The international treaties require that the entire plant is controlled under national drug laws, although in European countries there may be exceptions for plants which have a THC content not exceeding 0.2 %, if grown for fibre. National control is not obligatory for cannabis seeds” 4
The EU requires member states to comply with the UN Convention on the restriction of cannabis, but allows members individually to make legal exemptions for cannabis with THC content below 0.2% if grown for fibre.
Furthermore, the EU states that:
“National control is not obligatory for cannabis seeds” 4
.. i.e. Member States are exempted from the obligation of national control of cannabis seeds. The Danish legal definition of cannabis seeds, we saw, does not include the seeds, so this means that we in Denmark have EU law on our side in terms of. our existing legislation in this area.
Cannabis seeds are 100% legal.
Danish and international legislation very specifically exempts cannabis seeds as part of the controlled cannabis plant. It is therefore legal to buy, sell and possess them.
However, it is still not legal to grow cannabis seeds, or as a retailer, to sell to people who have this as a purpose without permission from the state. That’s why we have this disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
1. Retsinformation.dk: “Lister over euforiserende midler omfattet af bekendtgørelsen (bilag 1)“
2. Foxylex.co.uk: “Law on Euphoriant Drugs”
3. UNODC.org – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: “Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961” (PDF file)
4. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA): “Cannabis legislation in Europe – An overview” (PDF file)