What Does German Reform Mean for Europe?

Liz Filmer
10 Apr 2024

On April 23, 2024, Germany’s Federal Parliament, the Bundestag, endorsed a long-awaited adult-use cannabis legalization measure. The expected implementation date for the first provisions of the legalization measure is April 1, 2024.

The successful vote in Germany came after roughly two and a half years of conversations and negotiations with heads of the EU. The purpose is to identify what the EU would permit German legalisation to look like.

EU agreements currently outlaw national adult-use cannabis sales, the like of which is currently seen in Uruguay and Canada, the first two countries to legalise cannabis for adult use. Members of Germany’s governing coalition had at first lobbied for national sales before compromising on the provisions of the recently EU-approved measures. Malta and Luxembourg have also recently passed national adult-use cannabis legalisation actions; however, their models do not involve national retail sales.

German legalisation now serves as the blueprint for the rest of Europe when it comes to cannabis and delivers a set of public policies that can defy scrutiny from the EU. The standard creates huge opportunities for entrepreneurs and developers, particularly when it comes to the home cultivation and personal consumption accessory sectors of the emerging cannabis industry.

Why is Germany so Important?

Germany's population is over 83 million people and with Japan currently in a recession, Germany has moved up to the world’s third-largest economy. German legalisation is very influential for the rest of Europe

It’s expected that many other countries will potentially adopt Germany’s legalisation model to ensure EU approval.

Germany shares more of its borders with neighbouring countries than any other European nation. Apart from Luxembourg’s restricted legalisation model, no other country in Germany’s region has updated its cannabis policies to permit adult use. The Czech Republic have previously suggested that they will follow Germany and other prominent European nations will likely follow suit once reform proves successful in Germany.

Legendary European cannabis hotspots like Spain will also be impacted. Barcelona is presently home to hundreds of cannabis clubs. Cannabis is tolerated in regions of Spain like Catalonia yet it remains illegal nationally. Critics and opposers in both Spain and other European nations will become less powerful as German legalisation succeeds.  

It will be fascinating to see how many cannabis clubs are in operation in Germany in 2-3 years. Malta already has some legal cannabis clubs, however, the numbers are small. The German scene is expected to be much larger.  

Every successful cannabis reform in Europe helps to build for the next. Nations with modernised cannabis policies will continue to unite and form coalitions to try and reform European Union policies.

It is hoped that such a European coalition led by Germany, will gain endorsement and unlock the European adult-use market fully. Meanwhile, many other countries are expected to adopt Germany’s legalisation model to ensure EU approval.

More From Soft Secrets:

What Does German Reform Mean for Canna Culture

Czech Republic to Follow Germany

Legalisation Moves Forward as Planned

German Reform Plans Leaked


Liz Filmer