The German government unveiled plans to legalize recreational cannabis for adults on Wednesday, although many details have yet to be worked out and must be agreed with European Union law before the legislation can be introduced.
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced plans to allow the controlled distribution and recreational use of cannabis among adults, becoming one of the first European governments to do so, after Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet approved the plan.
The proposed legislation would allow adults to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, as well as allow limited amounts of cannabis to be grown and sold to adults in “licensed specialty stores” and possibly pharmacies.
However, the health minister warned that many hurdles remain in the complex legislative process, adding that the three parties in Germany’s coalition will now assess whether the plan is “internationally acceptable” and “conforms to international law”.
“I could well imagine that, if everything goes well, legalization will be achieved in 2024,” added the Minister of Health.
Berlin will propose the paper to the European Commission for a preliminary assessment and will only make it law when the Commission sanctions the plan, the minister added, according to Reuters.
“If the EU Commission says no to Germany’s current approach, our government should look for alternative solutions. Don’t just say: Well, we tried our best,” said Niklas Kouparanis, CEO of Bloomwell Group, one of Germany’s largest cannabis companies, Reuters reported.
Germany should have a backup plan if the EU rejects legalization, Kouparanis said, adding that cannabis imports should be allowed because domestic cultivation will not be able to meet demand in the short term.
Lauterbach, a trained doctor, said that he had tried cannabis: “I can only say that I have tried it. I have also made it public. However, I am not a user and I would not benefit from this regulation either, because I only took it to see what it is like.”