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Germany to legalize cannabis use for recreational purposes

On Wednesday, 26 October, Germany announced plans to legalize marijuana. The government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed that this would make Germany the first European nation to legalize cannabis.

Karl Lauterbach (Health Minister) presented the foundation paper for legislation to regulate controlled distribution and recreational use of cannabis.

You can possess between 20 and 30 grams of recreational marijuana to use for your personal use.

The coalition government came to an agreement last year to adopt legislation that would regulate cannabis distribution in licensed shops.


Lauterbach did not give a timeframe for the plan.

Many countries in the region have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Germany is one of these countries. While some countries have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes in limited amounts, others have not yet made it illegal.

According to the paper, self cultivation of private plants would only be permitted in a small amount. According to the paper, criminal proceedings in cases that are no longer illegal would be stopped and ongoing investigations would be terminated.


The government will also implement special consumption taxes and create programs and prevention programs that are cannabis-related.

An analysis last year showed that legalizing cannabis in Germany could generate annual tax revenues of around EUR4.7 billion and create 27,000 new jobs.

Lauterbach said that 4 million Germans smoked cannabis in the past year. 25% were between 18 and 24 years old. Lauterbach stated that legalization would end the black market for cannabis.

According to the minister, Germany will submit the paper as a pre-assessment to the European Commission. The law will be drafted after the Commission approves it.

“If Germany rejects the EU Commission’s current approach to cannabis, then our government should seek alternative solutions. Niklas Kouparanis chief executive of Bloomwell Group (Germany’s largest cannabis company), said that “We tried our best.”

Kouparanis said that Berlin should have a plan A in case of EU rejection. Kouparanis also stated that cannabis imports shouldn’t be banned as it is unlikely that domestic cultivation will be able to meet the demand in the near term.

The decision has already provoked a wide range of reactions from Europe’s largest economy.

The German pharmacists association warned of the health risks that legalizing cannabis could pose to patients. It stated that legalizing cannabis would put pharmacies in a medical conflict.

Thomas Preis, North Rhine Pharmacists Association chief, told Rheinische Post that pharmacists were health care professionals. He said that a potential competition situation with purecommercial providers was viewed particularly critically.

The legalization plan has been rejected by all federal states. Bavaria’s health minister cautioned, for instance, that Germany should not be a destination in Europe for drug tourism.

Germany’s Greens, however, claim that decades of prohibition only increased the risk.

Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, a lawmaker, said Wednesday that too restrictive conditions on the legal market make the black market for cannabis especially strong.

Lars Mueller, chief executive at SynBiotic German Cannabis Firm, said Wednesday’s step was like winning the lottery for him company.

Mueller stated that he would be able to open franchise-like cannabis stores when the time is right.

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