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Germany’s Cannabis Legalization Plan Revealed

A.J. Herrington

By A.J. Herrington

October 26, 2022

the Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany

Photo by Rachel Davis on Unsplash

Germany cannabis legalization is on the horizon. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach on Wednesday officially unveiled the nation’s plan to legalize recreational cannabis, announcing that the proposal would allow adults to possess, purchase and grow small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Under the plan, adults aged 18 and up would be able to possess a limited amount of cannabis, with a proposed cap of 30 grams, or about one ounce. Lauterbach said that the proposal would make Germany a world leader in cannabis reform.

“This would be, on the one hand, the most liberal cannabis liberalization in Europe, and, on the other hand, it would also be the most tightly regulated market,”

, adding that the reform could be “a model” for the European Union.

The plan calls for cannabis to be sold only to adults aged 18 and older and only through licensed retailers. The proposal includes plans for a range of legal cannabis products to be approved, including flower, vapes and oral products.

“Dosage forms for smoking, inhalation, for nasal and oral intake in the form of capsules, sprays and drops are permitted,” according to a

. “An extension to so-called edibles (products other than food that are offered for oral consumption) will be examined at the latest as part of the evaluation of the law.”

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Germany’s Cannabis Legalization Plan Includes Home Cultivation

The plan also allows for limited home cultivation of cannabis, with adults permitted to grow up to three cannabis plants at home. Cannabis retailers will not be allowed to locate near schools, and the shops will not be permitted to sell alcohol or tobacco.

Lauterback said that the government would regulate marijuana sales closely, with the goal of reducing organized crime and the illicit market for cannabis. The

that cannabis consumers were “falling into an undertow of crime.”

Under the plan, cannabis sales would be subject to Germany’s typical sales tax. The proposal also includes the possibility of a “special consumption tax” on cannabis products, although the health minister noted that it should not be so high as to make regulated marijuana products too pricey to compete with the illicit market. 

The proposed legalization plan also includes a ban on advertising cannabis products. The initial proposal does not include provisions for the production and sale of cannabis edibles or for consumption lounges for people to purchase and use cannabis socially. Lauterback added that the government would explore those options at a later time.

Germany’s cannabis legalization plan is part of social reform goals proposed by Germany’s ruling “traffic light” coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Alliance 90/The Greens that took control after last year’s national election under the leadership of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The government has said that the “social effects” of the legislation will be examined after four years.

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Four Million Cannabis Users in Germany

Lauterbach noted that about four million people in the country populated by 83 million used cannabis last year and that a quarter of adults under 25 have used the drug. The health minister said that proposal will reform the nation’s drug laws while protecting public health.

“The cornerstones make essential statements on the introduction of the controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes agreed in the coalition agreement,” reads a paper on the plan released on Wednesday. “Extensive measures to improve consumer health protection, child and youth protection, and information, counseling, and prevention services are addressed.”

The proposal to legalize cannabis is subjected to amendments as it winds its way through Parliament. Lauterbach noted that the plan will only be enacted if Germany can find a way to legalize cannabis that does not conflict with European Union laws. Lauterbach said that proposal would likely not go into effect until 2024 at the earliest.

Lauterback announced he had begun the legal preparations to draft this legislation

, so this is a positive step on the road forward.

Germany
A.J. Herrington

About The Author

A.J. Herrington

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ERADICATING THE STIGMA, MISINFORMATION, AND INEQUITIES SURROUNDING THIS PLANT, SO WE CAN UNLOCK ITS TRUE POTENTIAL FOR ALL.

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