The Estonian borough of Kanepi held a competition in December 2017 and January 2018 to choose a new coat of arms and flag following the incorporation of the Kõlleste and Valgjärv parishes into the Kanepi municipality. A cannabis leaf overwhelmingly won the vote and was approved by the the municipality’s evaluation committee in March 2018.
In December, 23 designs were submitted for the design contest, of which the rural municipality evaluation committee selected seven finalists, including the image of a cannabis leaf.
“Kanepi” means cannabis in Estonian , but the term does not derive from historical use of the herb as a medicine or a drug, but the ancient production of hemp in this southern Estonian region about 143 miles, or about 230 km, southeast of the capital, Tallinn.
In January, Kanepi officials chose the seven best designs and uploaded them to the government’s homepage, asking people to vote in a referendum. According to Mayor Andrus Seeme, more than 15,000 people participated in the vote, which was open until March 2018. More than 12,000 voted for the cannabis leaf design. Although the people’s opinion was clear and unanimous, the final decision was up to the government’s evaluation committee.
Seeme confirmed that the commission had finally made a decision.
“The winner was the design of a cannabis image,” he said to the Estonian Delf-Magazine.
The mayor added that the commission, however, did not support the draft wreath. The symbol for the image of a cannabis leaf remains, but last month the commission suggested the final image be changed.
“We contacted the author of the idea to modify her work a little bit,” Seeme said.