Germany poised to become third EU state to legalize cannabis

Germany is on the precipice of becoming the third European Union member state to legalize cannabis. The country’s legislators have been trying to come up with a plan that would satisfy all parties and it seems that they have found a potential solution. The Traffic Light Coalition (as it has been named), formed by The Greens, the Social Democrat Party, and the Liberals, announced last week that they have reached a deal on cannabis legalization.

The law will be voted on this month, and legalization could take effect as soon as April. However, many politicians remain unconvinced and plan to vote against the law.

The other EU members to take the plunge are Malta and Luxembourg.

German focus

The German plan emphasizes prevention and improving health and child and youth protection. Plus, the new proposed legislation, introduced last year by Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, may also target issues surrounding the illicit market – a problem that has bedeviled many U.S. states.

“The fight against the black market, decriminalization, and better protection of minors will come as announced. The previous drug policy has failed; a new beginning,” Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on X.

According to Forbes reporting, “Lawmakers recently revised the bill to ease restrictions opposed by advocates and supporters in the Bundestag. Changes included raising home possession limits and eliminating the possibility of jail time for slightly exceeding the possession limit. The government coalition also plans to introduce a complementary measure establishing pilot programs for commercial sales, set to be revealed after submission to the European Commission.”

Niklas Kouparanis, Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomwell Group said, “Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has not only announced the imminent passage of a law, he’s ushering in a new era of progressive drug policy. The era of the dysfunctional paradigm of ‘forbid and punish’ is coming to an end in our country. It has been a nerve-wracking 2023 for cannabis advocates, operators and patients, but it seems as if the most intense debates have been resolved, paving the way for the Bundestag to pass the law. The legislative process has resulted in favorable results for consumers, the medical cannabis industry and patients. The long wait was worth it, and medical cannabis patients will, fortunately, be rewarded with the access and care they need. The Federal Council will no longer be able to block the law. Germany’s CanG bill isn’t going anywhere and will be passed.”

Forbes also noted that the final Bundestag reading is expected in the week from February 19 to 23. The law could pass in the week starting February 19, moving to the Bundesrat on March 22 without expected hurdles. If all goes well, by April 1, adults could grow cannabis at home and possess small quantities, while cannabis clubs will be allowed from July 1.

Kouparanis added, “Admittedly, there is still room for improvement. It will certainly take time for the legalized cannabis clubs to produce significant quantities. There are also still questions to be answered regarding the implementation of the pilot projects outlined in pillar two of the legislation. And, of course, the long-term goal remains the legalization of the entire value chain for a full-fledged adult-use market.”

Canadian gains

Green Market Report wrote in November that Canadian firms were most likely to benefit from the moves in Germany.

The companies that stand to gain the most from this legislative easing are:

  • Tilray Brands
  • Curaleaf Holdings
  • Cronos Group
  • Organigram Holdings
  • Aurora Cannabis

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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