Germany to Legalise Cannabis in April

Stephen Andrews
07 Feb 2024

It’s not going to be an April’s Fool joke. Come April 1, cannabis will go legal in the EU’s largest market. The German government confirmed that a cannabis legalisation deal has been reached. The country’s Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach signaled that legalisation of marijuana will likely take effect at the beginning of April.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expects that the Bundestag will approve the long-overdue cannabis law in February. Once the bill gets its amen from lawmakers, Germany will become in April the third European country to legalise cannabis. First was Malta in 2021 and second Luxembourg last summer.  

“I am continuing to assume that the Cannabis Act will be passed by the Bundestag in the week between Feb. 19 and 23 and will go into force from April 1,” Lauterbach said in a statement for the newspaper Die Welt

Germany’s current ruling coalition pledged to legalise marijuana during its election campaign. A parliamentary vote on the law was initially scheduled in late 2023, but it was delayed. 

Scaled Back Legalisation Plan in Germany

German lawmakers revised the national plan for cannabis legalisation on several occasions. The latest bill headed for a vote in parliament is a watered down version of the initial proposal. 

Still, the bill will effectively decriminalise cannabis. Starting April 1, it will permit homegrowing of a limited number of plants and possession for personal use. Users would be able to register with so-called “cultivation clubs” where they can supply legally cultivated weed, granted that they do not share with non-members. Each legal club can number a maximum of 500 members. 

Not every German political party supports the ongoing process of marijuana legalisation, however. The conservative Christian Social Union has called for blocking the law, despite many provisions that come with legalisation were removed with revising the plan. 

The first years of legal cannabis in Germany are also foreseen to be an experiment where the government will measure the effects of legalisation and amend the law where needed. 

Read more on this topic from Soft Secrets:

Tight Rules for Germany's Cannabis Clubs

Czechia to Follow Germany for Legal Weed

Stephen Andrews