Legalization Across the Pond: Germany’s Cannabis Legalization
Is weed legal in Germany? German weed laws are changing! Cannabis laws are often in flux throughout the United States; on a worldwide scale, this status is not unique. Upon the recent German election of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, several progressive changes are expected to be enacted through the incoming government coalition, including an increase to the minimum wage, a phase-out of coal usage by 2030, a lowering of the voting age from 18 to 16, and the legalization of recreational cannabis. The incoming government’s vision for Germany includes plans for German weed legalization and controlled sales by licensed stores “to adults for recreational purposes” in an effort to drive out illegal avenues. One strong opponent of cannabis legalization is the country’s police force. In October 2021, the head of the German Police Union (GdP) referred to cannabis as a “dangerous” drug and the chairman of the German Police Trade Union (known as the DPolG) was quoted saying, “It would be the beginning of a stoned future instead of the launch of a modern Germany.”
Despite these concerns on German weed laws, party leaders plan to introduce German weed legalization legislation during the upcoming parliamentary session. Currently in Germany (as of 2016), a medical cannabis program is in place and personal possession is decriminalized but an established, regulated market for adult-use consumers is the goal. In addition, the proposal provides broader drug harm reduction services while restricting the advertising of cannabis, tobacco and alcohol. Potential funding for these social programs may stem from the anticipated taxation of cannabis. Here, similar cigarette taxes are implemented. A study led by Heinrich Heine University found legalizing cannabis would increase tax revenues for the German state coffers by nearly $4 billion, and would reduce spending in the law enforcement system by $1.5 billion per year. An estimated 27,000 new jobs could also be created. The country has an estimated population of over 83 million people, as of 2020.
Is Weed Legal in Germany?
The German Cannabis Industry Association (BvCW) and the Federal Sustainability Association (BVNG) released a joint statement noting the potential of cannabis to assist with climate action and sustainability and requested inclusion in the new plans held by the German government coalition. Favorable comparison to the workings of the hemp industry was also made, in terms of how the plant may offer benefits within a more sustainable economy. The lobby groups point out their call is backed by the European hemp industry, arguing that EU-wide support is needed to strengthen the continent’s budding hemp businesses with respect to competitors, for example, from North America.
German Weed Laws and Other European Countries
Germany is in a close race with Luxembourg and Malta to be the first European nation to fully legalize cannabis. Both countries intend to make big strides in legalization within the upcoming early months of 2022. Interested parties are watching these advancements closely, partially due to the anticipated innovations which are highly likely once legalization is in full swing. This is considered so as Germany is already home to arguably the best medical cannabis industry framework on earth; innovative ideas, products, and services are frequent as a result. If a rapid pace is utilized, the country’s new government coalition could make Germany the third nation in the world to legalize, tax and regulate adult-use cannabis, behind Uruguay (2013) and Canada (2018).
As you’re wondering if weed is legal in Germany, there are other things you should know. In other German cannabis news, the Israeli company Together Pharma reported in early December it had sold its first 50 kilograms of medical cannabis inflorescences in Germany, which was cultivated at the company’s farm in Uganda. “Together has become a cannabis company with an international presence. The revenue from Germany creates for us a parallel channel, independent of our activities in Israel. The German population totals about 80 million people, eight times the size of the State of Israel, therefore the potential market represents an exceptional opportunity for us”, Together CEO Nissim Bracha said. “The fact that the German market is still in its infancy will allow us to establish market leadership and capture a significant market share with a continual supply of quality produce. Looking ahead, we are in contact with other strategic customers to sell significant amounts of medical cannabis products.”
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