Legalization Vote Delayed In Germany
A long-awaited adult-use cannabis legalization vote was initially scheduled for this week in Germany, however, the vote was delayed until at least December. This likely means that German adult-use reform will not be achieved until next year.
The measure that is currently being considered by members of the Bundestag was largely championed by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. In its current form, the measure would permit the personal cultivation, possession, and consumption of cannabis by adults, as well as the eventual launch of noncommercial cannabis clubs.
Several lawmakers in Germany have expressed frustration with some of the provisions that are currently included in the legalization measure, as well as expressed frustration with how long the political process is taking:
Das CannG wird im Dezember beschlossen. Das bedeutet, dass wir den Zeitplan nicht halten. Ich weiß, dass das für viele eine große Enttäuschung ist. Deswegen ist diese Entscheidung auch niemandem leicht gefallen. Gut ausgearbeitete Verbesserungen sind aber in unser aller Sinne. ✊
— Carmen Wegge (@CarmenWegge) November 10, 2023
Translated from German to English the social media post states, “The CannG will be decided in December. This means that we are not keeping to the schedule. I know this is a huge disappointment for many. That’s why this decision wasn’t easy for anyone. However, well-designed improvements are in all of our interests. ✊”
Reading between the lines a bit, Carmen Wegge’s social media post seems to indicate that the current adult-use legalization measure is evolving and that the delayed vote could be indicative of changes on the horizon. Obviously, only time will tell.
Currently, only two nations in Europe have passed a national adult-use legalization measure. Malta did so in late 2021, and Luxembourg did so earlier this year. Both legalization models are limited in scope, with Luxembourg’s legalization model being particularly narrow and only permitting cultivation, possession, and consumption.
According to the European Union, continental agreements prohibit robust national sales such as what is found in Canada and Uruguay. The two Western Hemisphere nations make up the remainder of the list of countries that have passed a national adult-use measure.
Many international cannabis observers have wondered if domestic lawmakers in Germany will push for reform provisions that go against the EU’s expressed limitations, and if so, where things will go from there. It appears that the earliest that may happen will be in 2024.