Germany Cannabis Reform Officially Enacted

Stephen Andrews
04 Apr 2024

Weed legalization has officially taken off in Germany. As of April 1, recreational users in the European country can legally possess and homegrow a limited number of marijuana plants for personal use. It’s probably one of the biggest news on the cannabis scene that will mark 2024.

The German adult-use cannabis bill had to pass various checks with lawmakers before it was officially enforced earlier this week. The legislation was adjusted over and over in the last two years. 

With a cannabis reform in place, adults 18 and above are permitted to possess up to 25 grams of marijuana and cultivate a maximum of three plants for personal use. 

German recreational users will be able to supply weed from special cannabis clubs that are due to launch by the summer. According to the rules, each club can accommodate up to 500 members, and each member will be able to make twice a month purchases of up to 25 grams of cannabis, or a total of 50 grams (1.75 ounces). For members younger than 21, the monthly limit is 30 grams (1.05 ounces). 

The location of cannabis clubs needs to be at a suitable distance from school premises and playgrounds. Each jurisdiction can operate only one club for every 6,000 residents. A membership is valid for up to seven years with the possibility to renew it. 

Cannabis Reform to Bring Justice for Thousands Offenders 

Germany has enforced its cannabis law retroactively, which means that those convicted for a small offence now stand a chance for jail release. 

Prosecutors in the 16 German states have already started a review process. While there are more than 100,000 cases nationwide, more than half appear to be in the state of North Rhise-Westphalia. 

The enforcement of the German cannabis control bill has increased the workload for prosecutors. They have to check each case manually to see if convicts fulfill criteria for nulling their sentence.  

The extra legal work imposed on prosecutors was a main argument among legalization opponents ahead of the April 1 date. 

An attempt to halt the implementation of the bill was avoided after the Bundesrat, a government body that represents all German states, failed to refer the legalization question to a mediation committee. A referral would have meant postponing the start of legal cannabis for six months. 

Fortunately, that didn’t happen! And we can now look forward to what happens in Germany in the coming period. 

As the country prepares to launch its cannabis clubs, officials will start a parallel process that might complement the supply chain by opening commercial shops in a select number of cities. It would work as pilot programs, though the proposal will initially need approval with the European Commission. 

Sometime in 2025, German authorities will also release the first official report that will weigh the effects of partial legalization. The report will largely focus on how legal cannabis affects the safety of young people, and will determine future cannabis policy in the country. 

Germany is so far the largest EU country to legalize the adult-use of marijuana, allowing personal use as well as homegrowing the medicinal plant. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

Bundesrat Votes in Favor of Cannabis Legalization

Will Germany Get a Celebrity Boost for Cannabis?

Cannabis Remains the Most Used Drug in Europe

Stephen Andrews