Germany Decided to Legalize, But When?

The new cool thing in Europe seems to be talking about impending cannabis legalizations, which are not backed by anything other than a promise, and which come with no upcoming date. Germany just joined Switzerland and Luxembourg in claiming it made the decision to legalize recreational cannabis, but apparently we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out when.

Germany stated its set to legalize cannabis, but what backs this up, and when will it happen? This publication focuses on cannabis and psychedelics stories, bringing you everything going on in these changing landscapes today. Follow along by subscribing to the THC Weekly Newsletter, and also get first-place access to deals on a catalogue of cannabis products like vapes, edibles, and smoking devices. Along with that, we’ve got deals on tons of cannabinoid compounds like the super popular delta-8 THC. Please keep in mind, *cannabinoid products are not everyone’s first choice. We support customers only buy products that they are fully comfortable with using.

The latest in Germany

When a government is in the midst of doing something, and it isn’t putting out direct information for its citizens, it means it’s probably not going to, even if asked. I think we’re all aware that governments are good at giving government lines, wherein, questions are often ignored, in place of restating obvious lines. On one hand, populations seem so used to this treatment, that an ignored question and standard answer, actually make for coverable stories these days. On the other hand, perhaps if no formal statement is made, we shouldn’t expect an answer to the question anyway.

In early May, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach confirmed to German newspaper Handelsblatt that he supports that the country legalize cannabis, saying “I’ve always been opposed to cannabis legalization, but I revised my position about a year ago.”

Earlier then that, on April 6th, Marco Buschmann, the Justice Minister announced that he was in the midst of strategizing a legalization in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, which would involve a consultation process. This process would included talks involving representation by federal, state, and local governments, along with other organizations. The conversations are set to start this summer, with a formal bill hoped for by late 2022.

On the same day, via Twitter, Finance Minister Christian Lindner also confirmed – in a way – that the country was undertaking the legalization process, saying cannabis would be legal soon.

As you can see, none of this gives any real information about what to expect, or when. In fact, it sounds like a bunch of government ministers not wanting to say anything, or having nothing yet to say. So little has actually been confirmed, that it brings up the question of whether we’re sure Germany will go through with this. As of last fall, Germany made what sounds like an official decision to legalize, but how official is a decision with no legal backing?

Germany’s decision to legalize

Why do we keep looking to Germany’s government to give us more information on a legalization? Technically this decision was made back in October 2021 by the new government coalition ruling Germany, made up of three pro-legalization parties: Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party, and Free Democrats (FDP). By November 2021, it was said that a bill was in progress.

The decision was to create “the controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops.” This would make cannabis accessible to adults 18 years and up. Whenever it comes out, a new Cannabis Control Law would regulate licensing for cultivation, and general rules of sale.

For years, Germany was ruled over by right-leaning coalitions, headed by Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats. Cannabis reform was repeatedly blocked by these parties, even as Germany itself became more acclimated to the idea of it, with more of the population in agreement with its legalization. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Angela Merkel stepped down, understanding that a new era is here.

In the last Bundestag elections in 2021, it was already known that Merkel, the chancellor since 2005, would step down. The resulting election saw the longstanding center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) lose its upper hand in favor of the Social Democrats, a coalition partner to the CDU which is pro-weed, but which was constantly stifled by the CDU. This time around the SPD took the most seats, and left the Christian Democrats out of any coalition, instead forming one with two other pro-legalization parties. In fact, one of the first topics of business, was the agreed upon legalization of cannabis.

Germany elections

At that time, an anonymous representative explained to die Funke Mediengruppe publication, “We’re introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores. This will control the quality, prevent the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantee the protection of minors. We will evaluate the law after four years for social impact.”

The new European trend of legalization

Usually in politics, we wait for bills to come out before coming to the understanding of a legal change. The reason for this, is that a lot of things are often said on a political stage, and not all (or even much) is actually relevant in the end. Tons of bills that get introduced, pushed hard, and lobbied for, die anyway. Simply having a bill, isn’t a direct lead-in to a new law. Statements without published laws behind them suffer under the weight of not having official backing, and in very few instances do we simply trust a statement when there is nothing to show for it.

The new trend in Europe is for countries like Germany to make statements about their decision to legalize cannabis, but with no approved legalization measure in sight. Does this mean that a measure must go through? Not exactly. We know something will go through, but as none of the specifics have been worked out, and nothing voted on, we really don’t know what.

Having said that, the statements themselves are essentially marketing lines, letting the world know the interests of these governments. It suffices to say that the reason these statements are trusted, is because the leadership of these countries have indicated a strong desire to reap the rewards of a cannabis market. So no, these are not official policies, but realistically, they almost certainly will go through.

Germany joins other countries in making promises to its citizens about an upcoming bill to legalize cannabis. The first to do it was Luxembourg. Back in September, 2021, Luxembourg became the first European country to make such a statement, while the bill it spoke of was merely a proposal. Under the proposal, Luxembourg would allow adult-use for 18+, and for private residents to grow up to four plants in a home. As stated, a lot of bills come up, and they don’t always go through, so even though Luxembourg pushed a story of being the first legalized country in Europe, it really is just pushing a standard bill.

Switzerland also got in big on making announcements for things that haven’t happened yet. In September 2021, it too declared the decision to legalize via the Social Security and Health Commission, which is a part of the Council of States, also known as the upper house of the Federal Assembly; Switzerland’s parliament. The council took a vote, with nine out of 11 members voting to change laws (not to directly legalize). The next move is for parliament to draft a bill, which means no laws are close to changing yet, and there is no guarantee for how they will.

legalize cannabis

On the other hand, Malta didn’t just make statements. It went all the way, actually becoming the first European country to pass a measure. It did so with Bill no. 241, on December 14th, 2021. The final vote for passage was 36 to 27. The new law permits cultivation and use, but does not set up a regulated sales market. Adults 18+ can have up to seven grams on their person, and up to 50 grams stored.

The country is looking to set up ‘associations’ in the place of a legal sales market, whereby non-profit organizations will grow and distribute plants and seeds. This sounds similar to Spain’s cannabis clubs, but whereas Spain’s clubs function off a legal loophole, Malta’s would function in an above-board fashion.

Conclusion

The world is moving in a very specific direction when it comes to cannabis legalization, even if it doesn’t always move fast. In fact, it’s moving so directly, that several countries are stating their future plans, without having the legislation to back them up. Luckily, since it’s a competitive market, and everyone wants money, Germany is expected to fulfill its intention to legalize, just like Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well.

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Germany Closer to Legalized Cannabis, With Top Parties Discussing Legislation

It might not be the first country in the general region to legalize cannabis at all, as that designation goes to Georgia. But Germany is still the largest market in the EU, and has potential to be a massive recreational market. Now, with talks between the leading parties from the 2021 election, Germany has been inching closer to legalized recreational cannabis.

It’s about time Germany legalized recreational cannabis, and it looks to be getting very close with negotiations among top parties. If it happens, Germany will join places like the US, where not only is cannabis legal in many states, but where an entire market of cannabinoids has opened up outside of regulation. This means compounds like delta-8 THC, THCV, and even hemp-derived delta-9, are available to consumers. We’ve got great deals for delta-8 and many others, so go ahead, and check ’em out by subscribing to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


The Bundestag elections 2021

It was known going into the 2021 Bundestag elections, that current chancellor Angela Merkel would be stepping down, and not going for re-election. As Merkel has been chancellor since 2005, leading with her party the Christian Democrats, her departure has pushed the door wide open for new leadership. And after a 16-year reign, Germany seems to be happy to move in a different direction.

In this year’s elections, held September 26th, the center-right Christian Democratic Union, or CDU (the Christian Democrats along with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria), lost its stronghold which it had maintained for a decade and a half. For the majority of Merkel’s leadership, the CDU formed coalitions with the Social Democrats (SPD), a center-left party, which made them voting partners, stifling the Social Democrats on many issues where voting might have been contrary.

An example of this is the recreational marijuana bill that was voted on last year, and which didn’t pass even though it had enough support. The likely reason it failed is because Social Democrats, who would have ordinarily voted for it, didn’t do so because of the coalition with the CDU.

Bundestag elections

This election swung things in the opposite direction, with the SPD taking the most seats, though certainly not enough for a majority. The SPD won by small margins, beating the CDU 25.9% to 24.1%. This equals 206 seats in parliament for the SPD, and 196 for the CDU. Along with the SPD pushing things toward the left, it was joined by the leftist Green party which took 118 seats, the liberal Free Democratic Party which won 92, and the democratic-socialists the Left, which got 39. All of this positions Germany to vote very differently on many topics in the future, including cannabis.

Germany inches closer to legalized cannabis, as top parties talk about new legislation

Right now, Germany is technically between leadership, as no coalition government has yet been formed. But they’re working on it, and the result of the coalition might result directly in Germany creating a market for legalized recreational cannabis.

According to a representative from German publication, die Funke Mediengruppe, who spoke directly with coalition negotiators in regards to a partnership between the SPD, the Green party, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), an unnamed spokesperson made this statement on behalf of the so-called ‘traffic-light’ coalition:

“We’re introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores. This will control the quality, prevent the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantee the protection of minors. We will evaluate the law after four years for social impact.”

This goes in line with a report put out by Bloomberg a week and a half ago which stated: “Negotiators for the Social Democrats, Greens and pro-business Free Democrats are hammering out the details, including conditions under which the sale and use of recreational cannabis would be allowed and regulated, according to people familiar with the talks, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.”

It should be remembered that Germany has not officially settled on a formal coalition to govern, or a chancellor to take the top seat. However, this proposed union between the SDP, the Green party, and the FDP seems very promising. Under this coalition, its expected that SDP representative Olaf Scholz will be chancellor, and the hope is to have an operational government by early December. Since nothing has been formally decided, nothing can be said yet on the future of cannabis in Germany, though all eyes are on the country waiting to see what happens.

Traffic-light coalition

Cannabis in Germany

As of right now, Germany has the biggest cannabis market in Europe, but it’s a completely medical market. Cannabis is regulated through the German Federal Narcotics Act, and right now its illegal for recreational purposes. Simple possession charges can still incur up to five years in prison, though Germany stopped short at creating laws for using cannabis, so its use isn’t mentioned by law. As such, first-time offenders are generally put in a program, rather than prison, so long as they are not caught using more than a ‘small amount’.

This term is highly imprecise, varying throughout different parts of Germany in terms of the amount this relates to, which depending on location can be anywhere from 6-15 grams. Germany also tends to judge amount based on THC quantity in the product, so the potency is directly related to the calculation of the amount.

Germany does have a medical cannabis market, which started in 1998 with limited capacity. This was upgraded in 2017 to cover more medical issues, as well as being the start of domestic production. At that time Germany updated laws to allow more imports and exports of cannabis as well. All of this has helped to make Germany the biggest cannabis market in Europe.

How big? In 2019, Germany was 2nd in the world for cannabis oil imports, and ranked 4th for cannabis oil exports, 1st in Europe for both. In the last quarter of 2020, Germany imported as much as 3,264 kg of cannabis, bringing the year’s total imports to 9,249. The import market has increased 100% year-over-year from 2018-2020. The newly emerging domestic supply market is expected to inject a further 2,600 kg into the market.

In terms of how widely used the medical program within the country is, though BfArM – The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, could not give a specific answer to this, what it did provide led market intelligence firm Prohibition Partners to approximate the industry to be serving 128,000 patients a year.

Cannabis legalizations in Europe

If Germany does form a market for legalized cannabis, it would still be the first European country to do so, though not the first to allow some measure of legalization for recreational use. After all, allowing people to grow their own and use it, is vastly different than setting up a taxable regulated market where people can go to a store to buy a product.

Georgia cannabis

The first country to drop some laws of prohibition in this part of the world was Georgia (depending on whether you consider it to be Europe or Asia). Georgia became the 3rd country to do so, through a Constitutional Court ruling in 2018 that said punishing a person for using cannabis is unconstitutional as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, and since such punishments are restrictive of personal freedoms (almost the same reasoning used in both Mexico and South Africa).

This ruling erased penalties for cannabis use, unless a 3rd party is being hurt. What it didn’t do, was create a regulated market for the production and sale of cannabis, nor did it legalize growing it, leaving Georgians in the strange situation of being able to use and possess cannabis freely, but without a way to grow it or buy it legally.

The more recent near-addition to the European contingency of legalized countries, is Luxembourg, which isn’t shocking as the country has been moving toward relaxing cannabis laws for a little while now. It should be noted, however, that this is still only proposed, and has not gone through. In fact, it’s only scheduled to be tabled (discussed) in 2022.

Reported on October 22nd, the Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs stated that Luxembourg is likely to drastically change its laws on cannabis, though whether it would be considered a full legalization is hard to say. The country, for example, would not take away penalties for having cannabis in public, just reduce fines and take away criminal records. Sounds more like a decriminalization in that way.

The part that counts as a ‘legalization’, is that should the change be made, the government will allow adults of 18 years or above to grow up to four plants in their house, and use cannabis privately. Thus making it very similar to South Africa and Washington DC, slightly better than Georgia, but not like Uruguay, Canada, or the legalized states in the US. Luxembourg has not proposed a legalized regulated market, so buying and selling, as well as having and using in public, would still be illegal in some capacity, and would still incur penalties.

This is NOT a done deal, and has been erroneously written like it is. It is backed by the current coalition leading the government, but does require passing a vote in parliament and being signed off on by the Grand Duke. These things are expected, though, as the country has been in talks to downgrade punishment for cannabis crimes for a while.

Luxembourg cannabis

Conclusion

Georgia’s partial legalization, and Luxembourg’s possible upcoming partial legalization aside, if Germany decides on legalized cannabis for the country, it would still be the first to institute full legality in Europe, and the first European country to institute a regulated market. As the governance of the country is leaning toward three parties looking to legalize, it looks like Germany might be adding to its large medical industry, a legalized recreational cannabis market.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Pioneering Luxembourg Welcomes Medical Cannabis With Gusto

Luxembourg’s medical cannabis program is off to a flying start treating 270 patients in a matter of months.

Such has been the demand, the Health Ministry has asked doctors to put a temporary embargo on new patient access, whilst it secures additional supplies. This comes just weeks after Luxembourg announced it would be the first European country to legalize recreational cannabis.

Target Exceeded By One-Third

In February this year the tiny country, with a population of 600,000 squeezed between Germany, France and Belgium, announced a five-month trial of medical cannabis with the Government anticipating some 200 patients coming forward.

However, this target has been exceeded by over one-third, with 270 currently on the programme, reports RTL Today.

Whilst many in the U.K. will applaud its vigour in embracing cannabis medication they will also undoubtedly hang their heads in shame in comparison with the sorry situation in their home country.

Whilst it is still unclear as to the exact number of NHS prescriptions, as there are no published figures, those with a close knowledge of the system believe it is still no more than a handful.


Doctors Too Arrogant

Many will ask why the U.K. medical profession has not been able, or is simply unwilling to embrace medical cannabis. And the most common response to this is that U.K. medics are ‘too arrogant’ to embrace overseas trial data – and quite simply ‘do not like being told what to do’.

Speaking to CBD Testers last month Prof Mike Barnes, a U.K. neurologist who was been working in the cannabis arena for over a decade slammed this tardy domestic prescribing situation.

“There is a certain arrogance amongst British doctors and the British medical hierarchy that only British evidence counts and they can dismiss evidence  from other jurisdictions, which is sad,” he said.

Open Mind To Drugs

Luxembourg has taken steps to address its current shortage of cannabis medication by signing and additional contract with Canadian firm Canopy Growth, said Minister of Health Etienne Schneider.

It is also asking doctors not to put anyone else on cannabis medication until the shortage is rectified, although the Health Minister went on to say he does not not believe those receiving  treatments will be affected by the shortages. 

Luxembourg’s strict guidelines allow medical cannabis for terminal or advanced illnesses that cause chronic pain; mainly for cancer patients, undergoing chemotherapy, and MS patients.

Over the summer Luxembourg announced plans to legalise cannabis within two years, with Mr Schneider said: “Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs,” reports The Guardian.

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The Cannabis Business Weekly Review: Navy Says No to CBD, Cannabis Legal in Luxembourg, CBD Market Bubble, and more

In this week’s editions of the Cannabis Business Weekly, we’ll take a quick look at CBD use in the military… spoiler alert, it’s a huge no.

Also, we’ll take a look at the continually expanding CBD industry, will the bubble eventually burst like the housing market or dot com boom? Globally, Luxembourg became the first European country to legalize recreational cannabis and Thailand is set to roll out their long-anticipated medical program. All that and more in this week’s Cannabis Business Weekly Review and Newsletter.

 

FEATURED STORY: The U.S. Navy Says No to CBD

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The Navy is officially warning sailors and marines not to partake in CBD. It’s frustrating and, for the most part, way over the top… but sadly it makes sense. Because these products aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, they can include unlisted ingredients – of primary concern being the addition of the cannabinoid THC.

Should a CBD product have more than trace amounts of THC, that could lead to a failed drug test, and subsequently, a dishonorable discharge. The U.S. Military has a zero-tolerance policy for all “illegal” drugs. The Navy also reports drug use to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

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CBD Industry Growth – The Bubble Will Always Burst

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Some could say that the CBD Industry has caused somewhat of an economic paradigm shift in the industrial make-up of markets. Therefore, it is important to remember that CBD has been given the ability to become independent from the Cannabis Industry.

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Luxembourg to Become First European Nation to Fully Legalize Cannabis

luxembourg cannabis

The tiny European country of Luxembourg is about to make history by becoming the first state in Europe to legalize recreational cannabis. According to Health Minister, Étienne Schneider, “After decades of repressive policies, we have acknowledged that this does not work.”

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Thailand’s First Prescriptions for Medical Cannabis Within One Month

medical cannabis thailand

The Health Ministry in Thailand just announced that the first medical cannabis prescriptions for patients are set to be rolled out next month. Thai patients will also need to register and become approved before they’re entitled to prescription-based buds.

Click here to read the full story

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Luxembourg To Become First European Nation To Fully Legalize Cannabis

As cannabis legalization sweeps across North America, it was only a matter of time before other parts of the world would follow suit and take a step closer to making the plant legal.

The tiny European country of Luxembourg is about to make history by becoming the first state in Europe to legalize cannabis fully. The country already has legislation in place to roll out the new initiative, which is expected by the fall. Luxembourg’s Health Minister, Étienne Schneider spoke to Euronews about the latest moves. “After decades of repressive policies, we have acknowledged that this policy does not work,” he said. “So it’s time to change mindsets, change our concepts and try something else,” he added.

Due to the makeup of the coalition in the country at the moment, there is little doubt that the legislation will get full parliament approval within the coming months. Schneider made it clear that his country would not become like a “mini Amsterdam” as cannabis would only be legal for citizens and not for tourists. The Health Minister, who is also the Vice Premier, talked about his hope that the new legislation would act as a beacon for other European states in the wake of North American cannabis legalization.

“I hope that this Luxembourg initiative will also have a positive impact on the other countries of the European Union,” Schneider said. Last year, the government of Luxembourg agreed to legalize not only medical cannabis but also recreational. As soon as the new bill gets its final stamp, the government will begin to legalize everything from cultivation to consumption for Luxembourg’s citizens. Only those over the age of 18 will be entitled to purchase cannabis, and the whole supply chain will be regulated by the state to ensure the quality of product and safety.

The minister also spoke to the publication about the expected revenue from cannabis legalization in Luxembourg. As Schneider explained, “For the government, it is clear that all these sums will be reinvested as a priority in prevention, awareness, and care in the broad area of addiction.”

 

The Health Minister also spoke about “repressive drug policies” across the world in terms of cannabis prohibition which have not worked. “We have acknowledged that this policy does not work,” he said. “It did not meet expectations. So it’s time to change mindsets, change our concepts, and try something else. The Canadian model has also inspired Luxembourg, and it is this model that we will introduce,” he explained.

Similarly, the minister believes that the majority of the country’s citizens are for the move. “I do not see too many obstacles in Luxembourg’s society, considering the feedback we have had so far was rather positive. So I do not expect too much opposition from Luxembourg’s society, which is very progressive,” he said.

When Schneider was asked about how neighboring European states might react to the new laws, he explained that his country had no interest in meddling with other state’s politics. As he explained, “It is not a question of meddling in their national policy, but simply of discussing the observations, we have made in Luxembourg, which was also made in Canada, in certain states of the United States, which suggest that it might be interesting to think of new drug policy.”

With that said, Schneider also spoke openly about his wish that the new policy will influence other European states, “I hope that this Luxembourg initiative will also have a positive impact on the other countries in the European Union.”

Many Europeans have been waiting patiently while North America hurries to legalize cannabis. Many states in Europe, and indeed, countries across the globe are watching Canada very closely to see how well the full legalization of cannabis goes there. In time, one assumes, more states in Europe will adopt pro-cannabis policies. If not at the recreational level, at least at the medical level.

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