The German government unveiled plans for the legalization of recreational cannabis for adults on Wednesday, though many details have yet to be worked out and must be squared with European Union law before legislation is put forward.
Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced plans to allow for controlled distribution and recreational use of cannabis among adults, which would make it one of the first European governments to do so, following the approval of the plan by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet.
The planned legislation would allow adults to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, as well as allow limited amounts of cannabis to be grown and sold to adults in ”licensed specialist shops” and possibly also pharmacies.
However, the health minister warned that many hurdles remained in the complex legislative process, adding that Germany’s three coalition parties will now assess if the plan is ”internationally acceptable” and “in line with international law.”
”I could well imagine, if everything goes well, that legalization will then be achieved in 2024,” the health minister added.
Berlin will propose the paper to the European Commission for a pre-assessment and will only draft the law once the Commission sanctions the plan, the minister added, according to Reuters.
“If the EU Commission says no to Germany’s current approach, our government should seek alternative solutions. Not just say: Well, we tried our best,” said Niklas Kouparanis, chief executive at Bloomwell Group, one of Germany’s largest cannabis firms, Reuters reported.
Germany should have a backup plan if the EU rejects the legalization, Kouparanis said, adding that cannabis imports should be authorized because domestic cultivation will not be able to meet demand in the short term.
Lauterbach, a trained physician, said he has tried cannabis: ”I can only say that I have actually tried it. I have also made that public. However, I am not a user and I would not benefit from this regulation either, because I only took it to see what it is like.”