In a policy document, the German government outlined its plans to legalize cannabis nationally, with plans to allow possession of up to 20 grams by adults 18 and older, the Australian Associated Press reports. The proposal was first reported by the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland media network, which had seen the document.
The plan would limit THC in regulated products to 15% and also allow personal cultivation of up to two plants. The policy would also allow regulated sales, with limits on where dispensaries could operate, with a minimum distance from schools and children’s and youth facilities.
Individuals under 18 caught with cannabis would be exempt from criminal punishment but youth welfare officers could advise that young people participate in prevention courses and the cannabis would be confiscated, the report says.
In a statement, Niklas Kouparanis, CEO of Bloomwell Group, Germany’s largest cannabis company, said “It is important to note that this leaked copy is not the final version, rather unofficial information that should be treated with caution.”
“With these reservations in mind, we are pleased that the Federal Government is aiming for a nationwide supply at prices analogous to the illegal market in order to curb illicit operations and thus ensure more protection of minors, and quality control with the health of the consumer in mind. However, the draft framework thwarts its own goals with certain measures. In order to be able to meet the demand of adult-use cannabis, we should make imported cannabis a reality as soon as possible. Domestic production alone will hardly be able to meet Germany’s demand for adult-use cannabis from day one. If home-grown cultivation booms in this case, this leads to products that are less controlled and regulated instead of more safety measures for consumers.” — Kouparanis in a statement
He added that the THC limits “may play into the hands of the illegal market.”
Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner last month suggested that cannabis could be legalized next year; however, Drug Commissioner Burkhard Blienert said in July that it was unlikely that the law would take effect before 2024.
Germany’s governing coalition is expected to present a draft law at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, the report says.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has estimated that about 4 million adults in Germany consume cannabis.
Last month, German officials visited cannabis businesses in California. In a tweet, the German consulate in San Francisco said officials “examined products of dispensaries with equity licenses” to better understand “cannabis legalization opportunities and risks.”
In July, officials from Germany, Luxemburg, Malta, and The Netherlands discussed how Europe could move forward in legalizing adult-use cannabis.
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