You are here
Home > News > It’s Official: New Ruling German Coalition to Legalize Recreational Cannabis Use

It’s Official: New Ruling German Coalition to Legalize Recreational Cannabis Use

Even the most die-hard “medical only” German voices within the cannabis industry have been posting the news all over their social media including LinkedIn for the past week, even before the news was official. Officially, however, this has now changed. The new so-called “Traffic Light Coalition” will indeed be legalizing recreational use cannabis with a bill to do so introduced in the German BundestagNext year.

This is exciting for all those who have stood for it, and others who have worked tirelessly for their cause, over many years. This is also a moment that electrifies the cannabis industry. It now boasts over 100 special distribution licenses for medical marijuana, an increasing patient base (estimated to be 100,000), and is a subject that will never stop. This is especially true for the Swiss (partly a German-language nation) who are doing exactly the same thing. The timing is crucial. Germany could even surpass Luxembourg in the European Union’s recreational discussions.

However, it is important to remember that the devil lies in the details, regardless of how exhilarating. The details of how and when it will all be done are still unknown. Cannabis has not been decriminalized yet, there are still many strange cases and statutes that need to change.

What is known so far

This announcement is so significant because the parties that won the most federal elections in September are now working together on a plank which includes cannabis reform. It also involves phasing out the coal industry by 2030 and having at least 15,000,000 electric vehicles. The next step is to craft the legislation, and then introduce it into the German Parliament. This one, unlike other attempts at passing a federal law of legalization in the U.S.A, is almost certain to succeed. Germans have a funny way of making things seem easy.

Let’s see what actually is official. The coalition’s plans are stated in a statement issued by SDP Greens and FDP. “We are introducing the controlled supply of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores. This ensures that the cannabis is of high quality. [of marijuana], prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors.”

In four years, the government will examine the experience to assess its impact on the economy and society. However, it is unlikely that such an important step will be reversed.

The Problems and Issues along the Way

These are not going to all be easy. There are several major problems to be addressed. Chief among those is how to amend the country’s federal narcotics law. Cannabis (including CBD) is considered to be a narcotic. It is out of line with EU policies on this subject (with a lawsuit pending to amend that). THC can be added to this mix and it is likely that there will be some legal legwork involved to change the law.

German Impact

There is little doubt that Germany’s move to recreational cannabis will forward the debate across Europe—and potentially in the same timeframe as it has impacted the medical conversation. The idea of medical cannabis being used for pain relief even four years ago was controversial and often taboo. Today, around 100,000 Germans are using medical cannabis.

Although the Germans are not yet here, they’re certainly moving in that direction.

This tipping point is in Colorado, but not Canadian. It may not be just about Germany or Europe. This tipping point could also have an international dimension.

Coming as it is on the international news of Mexico implementing recreational reform by year’s end and Italians potentially having the ability to vote on legalizing personal possession and home grow as of next spring, not to mention both Luxembourg and Switzerland definitely moving ahead with their own recreational markets, it is clear that full and final cannabis reform is now a mainstream topic and goal on a federal level of many countries.

It will, however, increase the U.S. debate. The U.S. should be able to do the same in Germany, just four years after its federal legalization. China. The latter, as a result of a collapsed corporate real estate market, may finally be able to consider cannabis a green, global, investment.

In the interim, Prohibition’s last days are now over and at a global scale.