High hopes and red tape: Germany’s cannabis legalisation saga

High hopes and red tape: Germany's cannabis legalisation saga.

High hopes and red tape: Germany's cannabis legalisation saga. Image: Summit Art Creations / Shutterstock.com.

Germany’s journey to cannabis legalisation is complex, involving bureaucratic challenges from the EU and internal disagreements within the Bundestag.

Recently, Germany approved its first marijuana social club, Social Club Ganderkesee, a week after the new law permitting these spaces came into effect.

Lower Saxony’s Minister of Agriculture, Miriam Staudte, authorised this significant step.

Delaying Permits

However, regions like Bavaria are less enthusiastic, planning to delay permits for clubs until at least the autumn.

Membership in social clubs is tightly regulated, requiring residency in the respective region.

Germany plans to introduce commercial sales of cannabis, though it’s unclear when tourists will be included.

Access Made Challenging

As of April, it is legal for adults to possess and cultivate marijuana, but access has been challenging without social clubs.

Under the new law, social clubs are limited to 500 members each and can sell up to 50 grams of marijuana per person per month.

Germany is the third European country to legalise recreational cannabis, following Malta and Luxembourg. Unlike the Netherlands, which allows sale and use in licensed ‘coffee shops,’

Cannabis Tourism

Germany is unlikely to encourage cannabis tourism due to ongoing debates and legal uncertainties.

Legalisation has been contentious in Germany’s parliament.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition legalised the cultivation of up to three plants for private consumption and possession of 50 grams of cannabis at home and 25 grams in public.

Opposition politicians have vehemently opposed these changes.

Black Market

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach emphasised goals to reduce the black market and protect children but faced accusations of promoting drug use.

In June, lawmakers approved changes to the law, including restrictions on impaired driving and granting states more authority to set limits on cannabis cultivation.

These changes aimed to prevent delays in implementing legalisation and appease the Federal Council, which had previously attempted to block the proposal.

EU Regulations

Germany’s path to cannabis legalisation continues to face bureaucratic and political hurdles, reflecting the complex interplay between regional and national interests, as well as EU regulations.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.


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