The process will also involve federal states, municipalities, associations, science and civil society actors.
When the new German coalition included the legalization of recreational cannabis in its political platform at the end of 2021, there were few details on how to regulate the industry. However, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced last week that he would soon begin the legal process to legalize cannabis.
“I have always been opposed to the legalization of cannabis, but I revised my position about a year ago,” he said.https://www.forbes.com/sites/dariosabaghi/2022/05/09/germany-speeds-up-the-process-to-legalize-recreational-cannabis/?sh=3d9d5e881d0d
He told the German newspaper Reuters that he had changed his mind about legalization in the past two years, and that he now believed the dangers of not legalizing outweighed those of legalizing recreational cannabis.
In addition, Finance Minister Christian Lindner has confirmed that the process of legalizing recreational cannabis has begun. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann announced on the same day that he was planning full technical preparation to legalize cannabis through a consultation process with the Ministry of Health and other departments.
According to Mr. Lauterbach, technical discussions will begin this summer, and a draft law should follow at the end of 2022. Since the German federal government has announced in November 2021 that he would legalize cannabis, other political issues have occupied the government coalition, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.2 min
However, there are several elements to consider, including the model to adopt to legalize the sale of cannabis for adult use. The government has said it will regulate the sale of cannabis to adults through licensed stores. However, it is unclear whether lawmakers will set a maximum THC level for cannabis products.
In addition, growing cannabis at home is an option on the table. The German Greens party, which is part of the coalition, is in favor of home cultivation, but the details need to be worked out.
Recreational cannabis reform could bring the country more than $5,3 billion in additional annual tax revenue and create an estimated 27000 legal jobs in the cannabis industry, according to a report. survey from the University of Düsseldorf.
But in addition to the financial aspect of the reform, the government believes that the controlled sale of cannabis would make it possible to contain the illegal market and to transit cannabis products through regulated channels in order to protect minors.
Expectations regarding the legalization of recreational cannabis in Germany are very high. Germany could become the first European country to legalize the sale of recreational cannabis and attract foreign investors.
Since legalizing medical cannabis in 2017, Germany has become the biggest medical cannabis market in Europe. However, according to a report by global market intelligence firm Prohibition Partners, growth weakened last year.
The German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) showed that sales of publicly insured medical cannabis have stagnated in recent quarters, with Q3 of 2021 having a sales value almost identical to that of the Q3 of 2020 the market reimbursed by the public sector increased by 7%.
According to the report, the current lack of market growth is due to low patient access to medical cannabis, with doctors often reluctant to prescribe cannabis for several reasons. But the presence of a recreational cannabis industry in the country could remove legal barriers to the distribution and access to cannabis for medical use.
If the government is quick to publish a bill to legalize recreational cannabis by the end of the year, Germany could position itself as the leader of the recreational cannabis industry in Europe, the rest European countries seem to be far from the path of legalization.