German Cannabis Legalization Bill Expected To Be In Cabinet By August
As Germany continues its high-profile quest to become the largest nation so far to pass a comprehensive, nationwide adult-use legalization bill, it is being reported that there is finally an estimated cabinet time-of-arrival for such a measure. A legalization measure is expected to be officially submitted to Germany’s cabinet by mid-August.
The announcement of an ETA for the measure comes after roughly two years of lawmakers in Germany haggling and negotiating over what the measure should include, with much of the discussion occurring behind closed doors.
The European Union’s mandatory inclusion in domestic German cannabis policy discussions increased the number of hurdles involved, and with it, increased the duration of the legalization process. However, the light at the end of the tunnel appears to be growing brighter.
At this point, it seems like a lifetime ago when the current governing coalition was elected in Germany back in the summer of 2021, mere weeks after a historic cannabis policy discussion was held at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin.
At the 2021 conference in Berlin, German lawmakers discussed their intent to legalize cannabis in detail if/when the election results were favorable. As we now know, the election results did indeed prove to be favorable for legalization.
The next major milestone came in October 2022 when Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented his initial plan for German legalization, a plan that would later evolve after a series of meetings and discussions between the European Union and Minister Lauterbach.
The evolved plan would eventually be provided by Minister Lauterbach to German lawmakers earlier this year, and it has worked its way around closed political circles ever since. Although, the following provisions have surfaced:
- All club properties where cannabis is cultivated and/or stored have to be tightly secured
- Every club has to have a ‘trained addiction and prevention officer’
- Must comply with residue limits for pesticides and fertilizers
- Must track cannabis from seed
- Annual reporting of crop amounts, including cannabinoid percentage (THC and CBD)
- Club members only
- 50 grams per month limit for over 21 years old
- 30 grams per month limit for 18-20 years old
- THC percentage cap for 18-20 years old (ten percent THC)
- Neutral packaging
- Labeled with specific harvest information
Much of what was leaked and reported on in Germany seems to surround noncommercial cannabis clubs, which will be strictly regulated and purely “cultivation associations.” According to domestic reporting, no cannabis can be consumed “within the clubs and within a radius of 250 meters.”
In addition to club provisions, items pertaining to individuals are also reportedly included in the current draft. Consumption is prohibited “within a radius of 250 meters from schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, youth facilities or sports facilities.” Also, consumption “should also not be permitted in pedestrian zones between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.”
Consumers will be limited to one club membership at a time and permitted to cultivate up to 3 plants. Pharmacies are not allowed to cultivate or sell adult-use cannabis under the current plan, and medical cannabis “is to be removed from the scope of the Narcotics Act.”
In fact, medical cannabis reportedly has its own separate chapter in the latest draft law, which will hopefully provide a boost in safe access for patients, as well as help streamline cannabis research project approvals.
With all of that being said, until a final measure is officially adopted, nothing is ever a sure thing in Germany, and it is vital that advocates inside and outside of elected circles keep up the pressure to help ensure that laws and regulations are as sensible as possible and that whatever is adopted is seen as being a step in the right direction rather than a final destination.