Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis for adult-use, followed by Canada. A Supreme Court ruling in Mexico declared cannabis prohibition unconstitutional in that country, which makes Mexico essentially the third country to legalize cannabis for adult use.

Many political observers have speculated that the European nation of Luxembourg will be the next to legalize cannabis, however, Luxembourg may not be the first to legalize on the European continent. A report recently surfaced stating that German lawmakers (Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel’s political party) are giving strong consideration to legalization. Per DW:

Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is openly considering a momentous u-turn in the party’s attitude to the legalization of cannabis.

“Cannabis could be freed for personal use, of course with controlled production and distribution,” CDU interior policy spokesman Marian Wendt told the RND network on Friday. “The resources freed in the police and judiciary should be used to fight the illegal trade.”

The implementation process of cannabis legalization in Uruguay and Canada has had its ups and downs, but for the most part, it has been successful. Whether that would prove to be the case in Germany would largely depend on the legalization model it adopts.

The unregulated cannabis market will likely always exist in Germany, just as it will likely exist in other countries that move to legalize cannabis for adult use. However, that’s not to say that legalization won’t be worth it in Germany and that the continued existence of an unregulated cannabis market (or not) should be the only measure of success.

Freeing up law enforcement to investigate and prosecute real crime in Germany is in itself worth it to legalize cannabis for adult use, as is refraining from ruining people’s lives because they were in possession of a plant that is safer than alcohol. A thriving regulated cannabis industry is another huge benefit.

Prohibition Partners recently released a projection for Germany’s cannabis industry putting the size of Germany’s legal cannabis industry at over $16 billion by 2028. That projection was based in part on the assumption that Germany would legalize cannabis for adult use between now and 2028. It’s quite possible that legalization could come sooner rather than later to Germany.