Government Agrees To Establish List of Legally Regulated Psychotropic Substances
The government has agreed to amend the law to allow the creation of a new category of psychotropic substances, such as kratom, alongside the list of prohibited drugs, Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartos (Pirates) said at a press conference after yesterday’s government meeting.
Bartos said this would allow for the regulation of such substances, such as restricting their sale to adults, and banning advertising.
National drug policy coordinator Jindrich Voboril (ODS) added that he expected a smooth debate on the bill in the lower house, as the proposal had been signed by opposition MPs. It could then come into force from 2024.
The current law includes a list of more than 500 banned substances. The substances in the new category will be regulated but not banned. “These substances are available today, whether we are talking about Cannabidiol (CBD) or (…) kratom, for example in vending machines or on the Internet, where even children can buy them. They are not subject to any quality control or regulation,” Bartos said.
He said the proposed legislation envisaged mandatory registration of sellers and for an indication of the effects and recommended dosage to be included on the packaging. He explained that the bill would allow the state to react quickly to any new psychoactive substances appearing on the market.
Voboril said the proposal for a new category of legally regulated psychotropic substances was innovative in a global context. “The moment the law is passed, it will still be an empty list. The government will then put different substances on that list,” he explained. This is similar to how the government currently proceeds with banned drugs.
He explained that the substances would first be placed on a temporary list, while experts assess their risks. They will then be placed on a permanent list, either of banned or regulated substances. Voboril said he expected kratom to be among the first substances to be included on the latter list. It is estimated that around 200 tonnes of kratom a year are sold in the Czech Republic. Regulation could also apply to cannabis substances.
Kratom can have medicinal effects in small quantities, but in large doses acts as a depressant. It is sold as oils, tinctures, tablets and powder. The Ministry of Health proposed that the substance be added to the list of banned substances to restrict its availability to children, but the government rejected this proposal in July, in favour of the approach that was finally approved yesterday.