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Germany Formally Announces its Cannabis Legalization Plan

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Oct 26, 2022   
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Germany’s full legalization plan has been revealed by the country’s health minister.

Under the plan, adults aged 18 and over will have the legal right to purchase and own up to “20 to 30 grams” of cannabis for recreational use and to privately grow up to three plants.

The announcement comes a week after many of the legalization policies were leaked. But some aspects of the legalization plan appear to have changed in the intervening week; the cap on cannabis possession, for instance, was initially reported to be just 20 grams.

A plan but not a promise

In a press conference held on Wednesday, October 26, health minister Karl Lauterbach clarified that Germany’s cannabis legalization plan depends on the response from the European Commission.

Lauterbach said the German government is planning to submit an outline of its plans to the commission this week and seek an opinion. If the commission finds the country’s proposal incompatible with EU law, the German government wouldn’t try to legalize cannabis on that basis, according to Lauterbach.

However, if the commission agrees to the proposal, Lauterbach said a draft law would be progressed in early 2023.

As for specific policies, Lauterbach clarified that edibles wouldn’t be initially legalized. Licensed dispensaries and pharmacies would be able to sell cannabis. And, as the leaked policy document suggested, cannabis advertising wouldn’t be permitted.

Germany and cannabis

When it came to power last November, Germany’s coalition government promised to legalize and regulate recreational, adult-use cannabis.

Speaking at the press conference, Lauterbach reiterated the government's reason for its proposal, to better protect the young people who are already consuming the drug from the illicit market.

But, naturally, not every politician agrees with the government's plan. Bavaria's health minister, for instance, has expressed his fears that Germany will become a drug tourism destination in Europe, according to the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.


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