It looks like the marijuana floodgates could be opening up in Germany soon. According to Reuters, German politicians laid out plans to move forward with cannabis legalization in what Chancellor Olaf Scholz described as a groundbreaking move in Europe towards ending prohibition.
It began with a paper presented by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. His proposal provided a comprehensive structure for regulating cannabis consumption for recreational purposes. At this point, they’re looking to follow a similar path as Canada by capping purchases and personal possession between 20 to 30 grams.
The road to legalization began over the past few years. At this point, Germany’s already established a medical market, albeit a restricted one, similar to other countries in the EU. However, the coalition government confirmed that it would introduce cannabis legalization legislation during its term. The legislation would provide a breakdown of introducing controlled cannabis through retail stores that obtain licenses. Unfortunately, there’s no specific timeline for when Germany will legalize cannabis in the country.
The other benefits of legalization would also impact home cultivation. The proposal would permit citizens to grow a limited number of cannabis plants in their homes. Ultimately, this would also relieve law enforcement and consumers as the government will terminate investigations and criminal cases related to the matter.
As we’ve seen in legal markets across the globe, marijuana is a lucrative business with plenty of economic benefits. In combating substance abuse issues, the country will implement a special consumption tax to create cannabis education and fund drug prevention programs. However, it will also bring in some significant revenue through taxes to the country. Experts predict that the cannabis industry in Germany can bring in nearly 4.7 billion euros annually. On top of that, there will be an influx of jobs available nearing the 27,000 mark.
Even as cannabis legalization in Germany appears more promising than ever, it’s still up to the European Commission to green-light Health Minister Lauterbach’s paper. According to Lauterbach, the Commission’s pre-assessment will determine whether Germany drafts a law.
However, some of the prominent figures in the German cannabis industry feel like the country should have a backup plan in case the European Commission denies the paper. There’s still a significant stigma surrounding cannabis across Europe. The Health Minister of Bavaria warned that legalizing marijuana would transform Germany into a centre for drug tourism. Even pharmacists in Germany are concerned about the health risks that it might pose to its citizens.
Regardless, there are some promising signs that Germany could see legalization in the future. Lawmaker Kristen Kappert-Gonther made it clear that the black market will continue to thrive without ending prohibition and creating the framework for retail cannabis.