Germany Moves Closer to Reform

Liz Filmer
01 Dec 2023

The final draft of Germany’s cannabis legalisation bill was agreed this week after negotiations took place in the coalition government, clearing the way for German citizens to use cannabis for recreational purposes from the Spring of 2024.

Amendments to the bill came around in response to criticism directed towards parts of the first draft, including the amount of cannabis allowed for personal possession, public consumption, the penalties for breaking the new regulations, and others.

The new bill raised the amount of cannabis that one can possess to 50 grams instead of the first proposed 25g. The final draft also states that cannabis can be consumed publicly as long as it is 100 metres or more away from a school.

“In the negotiations, we have succeeded in finding practical regulations that guarantee the protection of young people and health and make the decriminalisation of adult users a reality,” Kappert-Gonther.

The bill has set a timeline for moving forward for when Germans would be allowed to consume cannabis legally, noting that it would not be the 1st of January 2024 as indicated in the original bill.

The new draft states that possession and home cultivation will be permitted from April 2024 and that the sale of cannabis from social clubs will begin in July. The bill also contains proposals for developing a legal cannabis market by allowing commercial sales. However, this will only be pursued after more consultation with the EU.

The bill has been fronted by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who first introduced it back in early 2022 and was quoted as saying, “If this law comes to pass, it would be the most liberal project to legalise cannabis in Europe, but also the most regulated market. It could be a model for Europe.”

Germany’s Federal Cabinet passed the reform bill’s initial framework at the end of 2022. However, it said they would have to wait to pass the bill into law as they required the EU to ensure that the country was not violating international law.

Since then, there has been much activity focussing on the legalisation of recreational use. The first-ever summit of European officials was to discuss how to regulate the cannabis market in July 2022. Just weeks ago, representatives from 10 countries, including the USA, Canada and the Netherlands, held the second International Forum for Sustainable Cannabis Regulation (IFSCR) in Germany.

After nearly two years of various political red tape, a vote to push forward with the reform bill is pencilled in for early next year in The Bundestag. If the bill successfully passes through parliament, the new law should kick in in the Spring.

More on this topic from Soft Secrets:

 Czech Republic to Follow Germany

Germany Moves to Legalise Cannabis

Liz Filmer