BREAKING: Germany to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

On November 18, 2021, local media sources confirmed that members of Germany’s incoming governing coalition (comprised of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens) intend to introduce legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in Germany.

Germany stands to become the next of shockingly few countries that have approved full legalization of adult-use cannabis, joining Canada and Uruguay (and a number of US states. Germany would become only the second G-7 nation to legalize adult-use cannabis and the first on the European continent to do so. As noted in this Prohibition Partners article, the Netherlands and Switzerland are also set to introduce adult-use cannabis legislation on a trial basis in 2022.

What will the adult-use cannabis industry look like in Germany? From a coalition spokesperson:

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 societal benefits of adult-use legalization in Germany are obvious (and similar to those in the US): an estimated €4.7 billion benefit to the German economy, which includes the cost savings of cannabis-related criminal enforcement and incarceration as well as generated taxes.

As is the case every time broad adult-use cannabis legalization is announced, the devil is in the details. We will need to see the actual text of the legalization, any rules and regulations that will govern licensure and operation, and timeframes for implementing said rules and regulations, before really being able to evaluate the potential business opportunities for entrants into Germany’s prospective adult-use cannabis industry.

Still, any time national adult-use cannabis legalization is announced, let alone in a country as significant as Germany, it’s a big deal. We will provide a summary of the proposed legislation and keep you apprised of any developments as Germany moves towards legalized adult-use cannabis. Stay tuned!