Weed Legalisation in Germany: Behind the Headlines

Behind the headlines GERMANY (1)

Weed legalisation in Germany has been a hot topic of conversation within the European cannabis industry and beyond for some time now. As companies in Germany already know, there has been a significant step in German cannabis law. There are differing opinions around the practicality and implications of this new legislation, with some celebrating, some protesting, and others uncertain where they stand. We’re going Behind the Headline to give you the facts and provide context as to what the new legislation means.

As of March 2024, the Bundestag has approved the first pillar of a new cannabis law. The final vote resulted in 407 votes in favour and 226 against.

This step toward decriminalisation permits private cannabis cultivation (3 plants per household) and the creation of nonprofit clubs for social cultivation, enabling members to access cannabis for recreational use.

Three cannabis plants growing under UV lights with a black background.

The law is expected to take effect on April 1 but additional steps are needed before implementation, including review by the Bundesrat, the upper house of Parliament, where it is noted that their ‘consent’ is not mandatory for the law to pass. The introduction of a Mediation Committee may also cause delays in the process.

The approved legislation changes the legal status of cannabis in the country but lacks a complete framework for distributing and retailing adult-use cannabis. It sets possession limits and defines exceptions for legal possession and cultivation by individuals and social clubs.

This legislative change in Germany represents a cautious approach to altering cannabis laws, with the intent to balance decriminalisation with regulatory control. The broader economic impact of these changes, particularly in the adult-use market, is anticipated to be limited, with new business opportunities mainly confined to ancillary activities related to cannabis clubs.

A cannabis coffeeshop sign on the exterior of a building with bricks and a window.

This action is a step toward modernising German drug policy, but full cannabis legalisation, including a commercial supply chain for adult use, is still under future consideration.

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