Ayahuasca legality: Where is Ayahuasca legal?
hands globe

Ayahuasca legality: Where is Ayahuasca legal?

Ayahuasca is an ancient and visionary brew prepared from two sacred plants – the bark of the Caapi vine and the leaves of the Chacruna plant. It has been used for thousands of years in South American countries in traditional healing rituals and for enhancing spiritual connections.

Here in the Spirit Vine retreat Center we cultivate our own plants and we prepare the traditional ayahuasca brew only with two ingredients, banisteriopsis caapi (the vine) and psychotria viridis (chacruna leaves). No dangerous additives and completely organic. In order to provide a safe experience we are very careful with the scrutiny of the application forms, preparing participants before the ceremonies with a proper diet and workshops where we teach empowerment techniques and working with the integration of the content. In the right set and setting the ayahuasca experience is safe, profound and sacred, but it is illegal in many places due to the main chemical component known as DMT – classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

This article will identify the countries where Ayahuasca is legal. This list may change due to new laws but till today the list if the following:

Where is Ayahuasca legal?

Ayahuasca is absolutely legal in Latin American countries where the Chacruna vine grows naturally. These countries include Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia.

A-Z Ayahuasca Legality


There isn’t a specific law related to ayahuasca use in Australia, but they do have a strict drug policy with a likelihood of prosecution for careless use.


Ayahuasca is illegal in Canada as DMT is classed as a Schedule 3 drug for which use can mean a prison sentence of up to three years. It is still possible to buy the plants used to make ayahuasca at home despite the brew being illegal.

Costa Rica

It is not technically legal and or not technically decriminalized


In Chile DMT is a controlled substance and there aren’t any specific laws for the legal status of ayahuasca, although arrests have been made of people administering ayahuasca it is not actually prohibited.


Initially, France didn’t regard ayahuasca as a controlled substance, but a new law has been passed that the ingredients of the brew are illegal to possess, and it’s now illegal to brew ayahuasca here.


An attempt to gain a religious exemption to import the ayahuasca in 2014 by a member of the Santo Daime church failed and it remains illegal in Ireland.


Ayahuasca was declared non-narcotic in both 2005 and 2007 and there are no specific laws prohibiting the substance – meaning you can’t be prosecuted for supplying it in the same way as DMT. However, you could spend time in prison for ordering ayahuasca into the country.


Ayahuasca is officially illegal in the Netherlands following the ruling of the Supreme court in 2019. It was declared a threat to public safety that negated any religious rights. Previously frequented ayahuasca ceremonies are drastically lessening due to the facilitators being prosecuted.


It is illegal to prepare plants that contain narcotic drugs here.


In 2001 Portugal decriminalised all previous illegal drugs so possession and use of ayahuasca is no longer a criminal offence, and doesn’t carry a prison sentence.However the sale, the transportation or cultivation remain criminal offenses.


In Romania ayahuasca is legal for scientific and medical research studies by authorised doctors in hospitals and clinics only. Otherwise, it is totally illegal.


Sale of ayahuasca is prohibited due to its toxicity, with use and marketing restricted to the manufacture of pharmaceutical goods and research. Possession, transportation, and cultivation is all controlled.


In Sweden, it’s illegal to prepare plants that contain narcotic drugs.

United Kingdom

DMT is a class A drug and it is illegal to distribute or possess in the UK. As a DMT containing drugs, it is therefore illegal here. There aren’t any current religious exemptions on ayahuasca use recognised.

United States

In the USA it is illegal to import, possess, sell, distribute, or consume ayahuasca as the DMT in the plant is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and can lead to a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Some people were federally prosecuted for ayahuasca possession recently in 2018. Only a few churches are allowed to give ceremonies with ayahuasca in a religious context.

Upcoming Retreats

  • Oct  20 — Oct 28
  • Nov  20 — Nov 30
  • Dec  15 — Dec 23
  • Jan  5 — Jan 13
  • Feb  14 — Feb 24

Journey with us

Browse our gallery

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Articles, videos, books, quotes, retreat updates, and more...

Spirit Vine COVID-19 Update

Last Updated: 5th May 2021

As travel has opened up in different parts of the world, we have resumed our retreats since October 2020. In light of the global situation, we are establishing new guidelines to ensure that we provide the maximum amount of safety to all participants who attend the retreats.

We will be following the guidelines provided by the Brazilian government which you can find below, and adding any necessary precautions suitable for the retreats.

In the Itacare area, where we are located, there are very low number of COVID cases.

We will update this section when new information is available.
Content listed here is subject to change.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Brazilian Government Recommendations for COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water;
  • if water and soap are not available or when hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used;
  • Maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others;
  • Wear a mask, that covers your nose, mouth and chin;
  • Practice respiratory hygiene;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Be aware of the situation of your destination and follow the guidelines of local public health authorities;
  • Avoid spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact;
  • Monitor your health for COVID-19 symptoms and, if you feel unwell:
    – seek medical attention;
    – stay self-isolated as recommended by local health authorities.

Anyone who wants to enter in Brazil must present a negative Covid RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding the flight and travelers must fill out an affidavit (printed or digitally), with the written acknowledgement to the health measures that must be complied with during the period that they will remain in the country. You can find more information about the affidavit here.

Prior to leaving Brazil, depending on the requirements of your destination country, you may be required to present an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure. In this case, we recommend you to budget the required time of 4 hours to take the test and get the results in Sao Paulo airport.

Please note that Itacare and Ilheus do not have RT-PCR testing centers.

Spirit Vine Guidelines for COVID-19

If you will arrive in Brazil more than 3 days before the start of the retreat, then you need to do another Covid test (quick Covid test) before entering our center and send the results to me by email.

Spirit Vine Cancellation Policy for COVID-19

If you have paid for a retreat and you are not able to participate for major reasons like travel restrictions due to Covid-19, then you may apply your credit to another retreat of the same value for a period of 2 years.