EducationDestination Inspiration: Medical cannabis friendly countries in 2023 Top Charts

Destination Inspiration: Medical cannabis friendly countries in 2023 Top Charts

9 min read

Lucy MacKinnon

medical cannabis friendly countries on's 2023 top charts


Please note that the following information does not constitute legal advice and should not be solely relied upon. It is crucial to thoroughly review the current travel advice for each country before making any travel arrangements or embarking on a journey with medical cannabis.

Each year, TripAdvisor and release a list with their top spots to visit, providing plenty of information for prospective travellers. 

But one piece of information that isn’t included in these features, is the legal status of medical cannabis in these countries. 

That’s where we come in. 

In this feature, we will explore how cannabis-friendly the countries featured on’s ‘Top 10 Best Holiday Destinations for the 2023 summer’ list, so that you can de-stress in the perfect destination. Top 10 Best Holiday Destinations for 2023

Incredibly, 90% of the places listed in Last-minute’s feature have some form of medical cannabis legislation in place, although these do vary from country to country.

In their hotspot for this summer, Lanzarote took first place, followed by Malta, Madeira, Ibiza and Antalya respectively. Cyprus achieved the sixth spot, followed by Rhodes, Jersey and then Barbados.

Coming in last at number 10, the Maldives is the only popular holiday destination on the list that strictly prohibits the use of cannabis in all its forms.

Each country has individual rules surrounding the application of medical cannabis and the treatment options that are available to their citizens, so it is important to look into their regulations further before booking a holiday.

Let's take a further look at those legislations:


Lanzarote is a beautiful subtropical Spanish island that sits in the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Canary Islands. Because Lanzarote is a Spanish Island, there are medical cannabis legislations in place that permit the use of cannabis in therapeutic applications under doctor’s approval.

Although medical cannabis is legal and residents are allowed to cultivate their own plants, it is illegal to publicly consume cannabis in Lanzarote regardless of medicinal status. It is also illegal to sell cannabis, however there are around 20 known cannabis clubs operating in Lanzarote, providing a private place to consume and store cannabis. 

To find out more about Spanish Regulations, check out the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation website here. 


The Mediterranean island of Malta is famous for its stunning scenery, with historical ruins, beautiful beaches and vibrant cities, this country offers an incredible atmosphere and interesting landscape. In 2018 Malta legalised cannabis based medicines for its residents, permitting them to use the plant therapeutically. 

Later in 2021, Malta reviewed their drug policy and decided to reform their cannabis laws completely, allowing its recreational use as well. They made history as the first country within the EU to do this, and residents are now permitted to carry up to 7 grams of cannabis on their person in public. 

To learn more about travelling to Malta with controlled medications, you can read the travel advice given by the UK Government on this here.


Madeira is an archipelago region of Portugal that is made up of four islands off the coast of Africa, offering great weather all year round and breathtaking sceneries. Because Madeira is part of Portugal, medical cannabis is permitted and cannabis itself is decriminalised. 

In 2001 Portugal made a bold move in decriminalising all drugs, but have since reported notable improvements in their economy and drug related death rates. Although there are no medical cannabis dispensaries in the city of Madeira Island, up to 20 grams of cannabis flower can be legally carried in Portuguese regions. 

For more information about travellers’ health to Madeira, read the guidance provided by the Centre of Disease Control and Protection provided here. 


Ibiza is known as the party capital of Spain, but Ibiza is actually very well-balanced with plenty of peaceful and relaxing locations available to those looking to escape for a bit of bliss. Much like Lanzarote, Ibiza is a Spanish Island, and so medical cannabis can be legally prescribed to residents with eligible health conditions if deemed a suitable treatment by a qualified clinician. 

There are six Spanish companies that have a licence to produce cannabis for export, and a number of cannabis clubs can be found in Ibiza, although they often require membership to enter and are not staffed by healthcare professionals. 

To find out more about Spanish Regulations, check out the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation website here. 


Antalya is a vibrantly busy coastal city in Turkey that has become a tourist hot spot for those seeking a well deserved break. With plenty of history, culture and adventures abundantly available, it is no surprise that it's so popular.

In Turkey, cannabis flower is not available on prescription, but other kinds of cannabis-based medicines can be prescribed to citizens with doctor's permits. CBD products are also legal and widely available, so long as its THC content is under 0.2%. 

Interestingly, only imported cannabis-based medicines are prescribed to patients in Turkey, despite the production of medical cannabis legally occurring in 19 different Turkish provinces, including Antalya. 

If you want to learn more about Turkish regulations, check out the country specific regulations established by the International Narcotic Control Board relating to drug imports here. 


Cyprus is an incredible island that sits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is known to have one of the best climates in Europe, where it aligns culturally, although geographically Cyprus is closer to Asia. 

In 2019, Cyprus launched their medical marijuana programme - however, their resident patients are still reporting extreme obstacles when trying to access this form of medicine. In order to bring cannabis-based products into Cyprus, permission must be granted by their Minister of Health. 

If you wanted to read up on importation regulations relating to Cyprus, check out the country specific regulations established on the International Narcotic Control Board website here. 


As a Greek Island, Rhodes is an incredibly popular holiday destination for British families because of the abundance of activities offered to tourists. 

Greece legalised cannabis based treatments for its citizens back in 2017, but cannabis product importations were strictly banned. This makes it very difficult to travel to Greece with medical cannabis, and it is imperative every legal avenue is explored thoroughly to avoid prosecution.

To contact the Embassy for further information, clarification and approval for travelling to Rhodes with medical cannabis, check out the government website here. 


Jersey is an idyllic, quaint Channel Island that is classed as part of the British Isles. Sitting in the sea between England and France, Jersey is famous for its seafood specialities and incredible cliffsides.   

In Jersey, medical cannabis was legalised in January 2019, following its legalisation in the UK two months previously. Eligible patients with conditions that are known to positively respond to medical cannabis can be prescribed cannabis in a number of forms, including flowers and oils. 

To find out more about what to expect at the airport in Jersey, you can access their medication guidelines for security clearance here. 


Many people have found a peaceful paradise in Barbados, and so it is no surprise it is included on’s top charts of places to visit. 

In the 2019, The Medical Cannabis Industry Act was passed in Barbados, permitting the prescription of cannabis based medicines in appropriate circumstances. In 2020 up to 14 grams of cannabis possession was decriminalised, and registered Rastafarians are legally allowed to consume cannabis under Barbados’ Spiritual Bill. 

However, some reports note tourists to the country would need to be seen and approved by a local doctor in order to legally consume cannabis based medicines, and so as always it is important to seek guidance and approval from the Embassy before attempting to travel. 

For more information about travelling to Barbados with controlled medicines, check out the Barbados travel advice given by the UK government here.


The Republic of Maldives is a country in the Indian Ocean that is famous for its white sandy beaches, tranquilly clear waters and mesmerizing marine life. 

And although the Maldives is a destination many dream of visiting, unfortunately for medical cannabis patients that need to take this medication daily, this may not be a reality any time soon. 

Much like many other countries in the South Asia, in the Maldives cannabis is strictly illegal in all its forms, and so it is assumed their Embassy would not approve its importation - even for medical cannabis patients. Attempting to smuggle or traffic cannabis into the country comes with large fines, harsh prison sentences and sometimes even death penalties attached and so, of course, we advise against this. 


Now that we’ve summarised the medical cannabis policies in place in’s top charts of destinations to jet set off to this summer, we hope that you can start to plan the holiday of a lifetime. 

Check out our Professional Guidance section and Continental Cannabis Guide for more information on how to take medical cannabis on holiday. Here we expand on NHS and government guidelines, and explore international regulation and legislation to protect patients from prosecution.

Releaf understands that medical cannabis can be life-changing for many people. That's why we offer tailored monthly packages based on your cannabis prescription, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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With five years of journalism and healthcare content creation under her belt, Lucy strives to improve medical cannabis awareness and access in the UK by producing high quality, credible content.

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Further reading

Medical cannabis on holiday: The basics

Here at Releaf we understand that holidays should be about relaxation, but travelling with medical cannabis sounds like a stressful voyage. We’re doing what we can to absorb that stress so that you can soak up the sun, and so, we’ve designed a series of articles to cover the subject: medical cannabis on holiday. 

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The Continental Cannabis Guide: Medical cannabis-friendly countries

For some patients, medical cannabis really is a lifeline and is therefore a necessary component in the holiday of a lifetime. So that you don’t have to choose between your health and a holiday, we’ve put together this guide that explains which countries currently have medical cannabis policies in place.

Lucy MacKinnon