Germany proposes legislation to legalize cannabis

Germany Introduces Cannabis Legalization Bill

The German Ministry of Health published last July 5 the long-awaited bill to regulate the consumption of cannabis for personal use, home cultivation and the constitution of cannabis breeders’ associations, similar to the model of cannabis social clubs.

Under the bill, adults over the age of 18 are allowed a maximum of 25 grams. own cannabis for personal use and to cultivate up to three plants. However, the consumption of cannabis in the “immediate vicinity” of persons under the age of 18, within 200 meters of schools, children’s and youth facilities, playgrounds, publicly accessible sports facilities and pedestrian areas between 07.00:20.00 and XNUMX:XNUMX: XNUMX, remains prohibited. Fines and criminal charges will be imposed for specific illegal activities.

Cannabis Growers Association

The bill also laid the groundwork for the establishment of cannabis growers’ associations (Anbauvereinigungen). The proposed legislation allows an association to accept up to 500 members. Each member of the association is entitled to 25 grams per day or 50 grams per month for personal use. In addition, associations have the authority to supply each member with up to seven seeds or five cuttings per month.

The consumption of cannabis is prohibited inside associations and within a radius of 200 meters from their entrance. In addition, associations are prohibited from engaging in any form of advertising or sponsorship of their activities. German state governments have the power to regulate the number of associations allowed in a district or urban area by issuing ordinances with a maximum of one association per 6,000 inhabitants.

Drug law cannabis

But the real game changer for Germany is the removal of marijuana from the Narcotic Drugs Act (Betäubungsmittelgesetz, BtMG) and other related laws. This move gives the medical industry more flexibility, although it should be noted that the proposed legislation does not substantially change the existing medical industry. Instead, it focuses primarily on improving access to medical cannabis by allowing patients to obtain a regular prescription.

The draft law on the second pillar of the German legalization model will be published after review by the European Commission in the second half of 2023 and will cover regional pilot projects with commercial supply chains, likely modeled on Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Overall, the German government’s planned two-pillar model for legalizing cannabis for personal use in the country aims to address public health protection, prevention and education about cannabis use, curb the illicit market, and strengthen the protection of children and youth.
It remains to be seen whether this model can effectively achieve these objectives. It should be noted that Germany initially had an ambitious plan to legalize cannabis in the country by establishing a commercial supply chain for adult-use weed with potential tax revenues in the billions of dollars.

However, he then faced legal obstacles from international and European laws prohibiting access to cannabis for recreational use. While international treaties might have had less impact in terms of legal consequences, as in the case of Uruguay and Canada, violation of EU narcotics legislation could result in heavy penalties. Therefore, the German government revised its plan and presented a draft law more in line with European legislation by excluding the commercial sale of products. By adopting a non-commercial model to legalize marijuana in the country, Germany could become the third EU member to regulate personal use, following in the footsteps of Malta and Luxembourg.

european cannabis regulation

But the importance of legalization in Germany lies in the fact that more European countries could follow a similar model, prompting other countries to pursue cannabis regulation. This has already happened in the Czech Republic, which announced its intention to legalize cannabis after Berlin.

Furthermore, the establishment of regional pilot projects in Germany after evaluation by the European Commission could encourage other EU countries to experiment with the controlled sale of cannabis products. This would allow them to assess the effects of full legalization. However, it is up to the EU to review its laws regarding the regulation of recreational cannabis sales within member states.

But for now, it is up to Germany to successfully implement the bill and put it into force. The Health Ministry’s bill is expected to be approved by the cabinet in August. After that, the law must be approved by the Bundestag, the German federal parliament.


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