Czech Republic Aligns with Germany's Legalization Plans?

Stephen Andrews
09 Nov 2022

Since its coming to power, the current German government has clearly communicated to the public that it would put efforts into legalizing Cannabis for recreational use in Germany. Last month, the country's Health Minister Karl Lauterbach revealed a proposal on how legalization would look like. For those who follow the developments in Germany, there has been one obvious question: if Germany introduces legalization measures, will there be a domino effect in Europe? Well, it looks like that effect has already started. The Czech Republic, also a member of the EU, is the first country within the block that signals it would follow suit with Germany. The two countries share a 500 miles long border.

Jindřich Vobořil, the Czech Republic national anti-drug coordinator announced in a press conference that he would be pushing for his country to legalize Cannabis for recreational use, including regulated retail of weed products. In a social media post, Vobořil also said the Czech Republic would pursue adopting a similar timeline with Germany. 

"Germany and the Czech Republic go to a regulated market at the same time," the politician wrote on Facebook. He shared the update on the same day when minister Lauterbach presented his legalization proposal in Germany.

"It won't be quite the free market, as some would expect," Vobořil remarks on the German proposal. "For example, colleagues from Germany talk about the allowed amount, they do not have cannabis clubs that we are supposed to. I'm pretty sure I want to hold on to cannabis clubs until my last breath. I find this model very useful, at least for the first years," the Czech politician wrote. 

"However, we are in live contact with our colleagues from Germany and have repeatedly confirmed that we want to coordinate ourselves, even practically by consulting each other on our proposals. I will also want their expert assessment of our proposals, which we will prepare in the above-mentioned working expert group," Vobořil adds in the same post.

Such a signal from the Czech Republic is significant, to say the least. The next step for the German government would be to pursue approval from the European Union (EU). Minister Lauterbach has already noted that the legalization in Germany must be aligned with EU laws. In this context, every nation from the EU block that wants to introduce legalization alongside Germany is of crucial importance. 

Allegedly, the goal is that both Germany and the Czech Republic bring forward legalization measures in early 2023, followed by a launch of a regulated Cannabis market in the two countries hopefully sometime in 2024. 

More reports suggest that Germany is unwilling to import Cannabis to maintain its future market, which automatically creates opportunities for other countries to invest in building their own regulated adult-use markets. 

As the legalization process speeds up, more European countries will want to benefit from creating a national cannabis market. It appears the Czech Republic is already pursuing precisely that opportunity.

Stephen Andrews