Germany’s Cannabis Act

Germany has taken an important step toward cannabis legalization, with the release by the Health Ministry of the draft Cannabis Act (Cannabisgesetz or CanG). According to the Ministry, the bill seeks “to legalize private cultivation by adults for personal consumption as well as communal, non-commercial cultivation of cannabis in cultivation associations.” For more information on the context in which legalization is taking place, check out our earlier post, Germany Unveils Sweeping Cannabis Legalization Plan.

The CanG will serve as the first of two “pillars” upon which Germany is building its Cannabis-Projekt. “Regional pilot programs with commercial supply chains” are the next phase. According to the Health Ministry, these programs will impose “spatial restrictions to delivery points and adult residents of certain districts/cities in several federal states (opt-in approach).” This incremental 2-Säulen-Modell responds to the “tight EU and international legal framework” and follows consultations with the EU Commission. Germany has expressed its desire to see a “more flexible” EU framework.

The CanG allows individuals over the age of 18 years old to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis for personal use. It also permits home cultivation by German residents, setting a limit of three plants per adult in a household. Seeds may be imported from within the EU. The new law also provides for the formation of cultivation associations (Anbauvereinigungen). These associations will be allowed to provide their members with up to 25 grams of cannabis per day or 50 grams per month. In addition, members may also receive seven seeds or five cuttings per month. State governments can cap the number of associations in a particular district at one per 6,000 residents.

This first step by Germany is an important one and could well pave the way for further legalization within the EU. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the regional pilot programs are structured, and the opportunities that it might present to cannabis businesses. While the Teufel when it comes to these programs will be in the Detail, this is the right time start laying the groundwork for a successful entry into the German market.

We are not quite at the point where cannabis entrepreneurs need to start interviewing Berlinese budtenders, but canna businesses can start analyzing the market, familiarizing themselves with relevant German legislation, vetting potential business partners, registering their trademarks, and deciding which Bundesliga team jersey they want their logos to adorn. Träume groß!