Will Germany Legalize Marijuana in 2024?

Stephen Andrews
04 Dec 2023

Everyone is closely following Germany’s progress with its adult-use marijuana legalization plan. The country’s lawmakers have finally managed to agree on some key details about the national cannabis law. According to the latest reports, one of the biggest EU members will likely have legal cannabis in place by the spring of 2024. Below are more details.

According to the reports, the so-called Traffic Light coalition, which consists of the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party, and the Greens, has reached a final agreement on how to regulate legal recreational marijuana in Germany. The details of the CanG Act were hammered last week after multiple revisions on the rules during the past year. 

The final arrangements overseen by the German coalition government include dates for cannabis cultivation and the establishment of social clubs where users can purchase legal marijuana buds

The initial plans for marijuana legalization in Germany were significantly scaled back at the end of March, 2023. One of the initial goals also was to effectuate legalization at the start of the new year, but this was viewed no longer feasible as the bill stagnated through the summer and early fall. Finally now, at the end of 2023, Germany is at a point where there is progress that may lead to legal cannabis use in the spring of 2024. 

The draft law for legal cannabis was previously discussed in the Bundestag (the national parliament) at the end of October, but a scheduled review of the bill for November was since then postponed. 

The German model for legalization very much looks like establishing controlled cannabis sales for experimentation, akin to approaches seen in other European countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland. Will it be successful? It seems we’ll find out soon enough. 

How German Lawmakers Adjusted the Marijuana Bill? 

The German coalition government has agreed on both dates and other details on how to proceed with introducing legal marijuana in the country. The legalization of cannabis possession and cultivation will take effect on April 1, 2024, according to the most recent reports in the German media. In addition, the establishment of social clubs where cannabis users would be able to supply legal weed, are expected to become a reality from July 1. 

There were several alterations of the German legalization plan thus far. In the latest version, the German lawmakers have adjusted the rules concerning possession and consumption of marijuana with an aim to make them less rigid than initially imagined. 

According to Bundestag members, the quantity of dried marijuana flower allowed for home growing is expected to be doubled, increasing from 25 to 50 grams. The proposal for a lower limit first came into consideration in April this year, but now apparently the authorities are having second thoughts on that. 

Reportedly, there will also be softening in the penal code regarding marijuana possession and use. Before, the intentions were that having more than 25 grams of cannabis on the person would equal to a criminal activity. With the latest adjustment, a criminal offense would be considered only if a person carries more than 25 to 30 grams of cannabis in public spaces and above 50 to 60 grams in private areas. 

The maximum fine of €100,000 for breaching cannabis laws has also been reduced to a maximum of €30,000 (from $109,500 down to $32,900). 

Changes also apply for proposed exclusion zones for marijuana consumption, which include areas around schools, playgrounds and daycare centers. From 200 meters, exclusion has now been limited to 100 meter bans. 

Among the unknowns is the proposed THC limit, more specifically for driving under the influence of weed. Details such as this one could be known months from now, shortly before the start of legalization. 

There are still a few more steps before the new adult-use marijuana legislation in Germany is voted in as an official law. Hopefully, this time around there won’t be any more delays and postponements, and the legal market in Germany can finally start and improve by learning from experiences on the ground.  

Also read on Soft Secrets:

German Cabinet Approves Legalization Plan

- What Were the Initial Plans for Cannabis Legalization in Germany?

- The Scaled Back Version of Germany’s Cannabis Reform 

Stephen Andrews