How Germany will legalize cannabis was leaked to the RND newspaper group this past week. If signed into law, this means Germans will be able to buy, sell, and grow legal cannabis.
The leaked plan also suggests the Germans will limit advertising and ban any promotion of consumption.
How Germany Will Legalize Cannabis
How Germany will legalize cannabis has been on many people’s minds since the centre-left coalition came to power last year. German bureaucrats have been visiting US legal states like California to understand how to legalize cannabis successfully.
Interestingly, when Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Canada recently, cannabis legalization was not one of the topics discussed.
The plan circulating German halls of government is more incremental than comprehensive. Still, it’s a significant step compared to European countries decriminalizing cannabis (like Portugal).
Germany is the wealthiest and most populous European Union nation. How Germany will legalize cannabis is just as important as when.
The German coalition government promised legalization in November 2021.
Details of the Plan
The leaked paper results from an inquiry by Germany’s commissioner on narcotic drugs. Like the Canadian “task force” leading up to legalization, the German government appointed their own task force. Burkhard Blienert addressed the issue.
The Blienert plan would legalize the purchase and possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis by adults. The plan also permits Germans to cultivate two cannabis plants per household.
It proposes Germans who want to sell cannabis can do so in licensed specialty shops and pharmacies. (Pharmacies are better equipped to handle rural areas, says the paper).
Unlike Canada, the Germans are interested in having these specialty shops double as consumption centres. There is also talk about “coffee shops” like in Amsterdam.
German pharmacies have been selling medical cannabis since 2016. Until recently, Germany imported most of this cannabis from Canada’s licensed producers.
THC Caps & International Law
As part of their “public health” approach to legalization, the Blienert plan recommends a THC potency cap of 15 percent.
Interestingly, they also recommend a different age-restricted THC cap for young adults. If you’re over 18 but under 21, the law will prevent you from purchasing cannabis with over 10 percent THC.
The United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs from 1961 prevents nation-states from legalizing cannabis.
Uruguay and Canada ignored the Convention when they legalized cannabis. The situation is a little more complicated in Germany since they are also signatories to European laws preventing cannabis legalization.
The Blienert plan recommends producing and selling cannabis exclusively in Germany to get around this issue.
How Germany will legalize cannabis will no doubt be a shock to the large Canadian producers who hoped to be the supplier of cannabis in Germany.
Criticisms of How Germany Will Legalize Cannabis
Germany’s government is a coalition of left-wing political parties. The Blienert plan accommodates all the different interests in how Germany will legalize cannabis.
But as the saying goes, you can’t please all the people all the time.
Kristine Lütke, a politician in the three parties of the ruling coalition, took to Twitter to voice her dissent. Calling the THC caps and different rules for young adults “Unnecessarily restrictive!”
She tweeted that these rules “will drive consumers to the black market. A disaster for youth, health & consumer protection.”
Others are more welcoming of the Blienert plan but expect parliament to change some details on how Germany will legalize cannabis.
As of this publication, the Health Ministry of the coalition government has not released an official statement on the Blienert plan to legalize cannabis.