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Germany Sets 2024 for Cannabis Legalization, Eases Regulations

Coalition government finalizes cannabis legalization details, with possession and cultivation laws effective April 2024.




A cannabis traffic light in Aachen, Germany. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKI COMMONS

The German government is making significant progress in its cannabis legalization efforts. The Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party, and The Greens, collectively known as the Traffic Light coalition, have reached a consensus on cannabis regulation. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that legalization for possession and cultivation is scheduled for April 1, 2024, with cannabis social clubs expected by July 1.

Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, a Bundestag member and Health Committee chair, notes the increased allowance for home cultivation, doubling from 25 to 50 grams. Penal consequences for possession will be moderated to avoid immediate criminal charges. Now, possession of 25 to 30 grams in public and 50 to 60 grams in private will be administrative offenses, with criminal charges applying only beyond these limits. Fines are also reduced significantly, from a maximum of €100,000 to €30,000.

Additionally, the exclusion zone for cannabis use near schools and playgrounds will decrease from 200 to 100 meters. Regulations regarding cannabis-impaired driving are under review, with the Federal Ministry of Transport expected to propose a THC limit, reports Forbes.

The draft law, initially discussed in the Bundestag in late October, awaits final adoption. The next steps involve a Bundestag decision and subsequent Bundesrat consideration. Despite initial plans for a New Year rollout, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach admits delays, aiming for a spring enactment.

This legalization initiative, part of the coalition’s post-election agenda, initially planned licensed shop sales. However, legal complexities have shifted focus to controlled sales for experimentation, aligning with practices in Switzerland and the Netherlands.




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