By the end of this month, the new coalition government that will take over from Chancellor Angela Merkel will seriously consider legalizing recreational cannabis in Germany. Following several negotiations, the coalition formed by the Green Party, the Liberal Free Democrats, and the left-wing Social Democrats will finalize its political agenda before taking over as the country’s ruling party.
The coalition’s working group on health and care, one of 22 working groups that met over two weeks to negotiate a deal, has agreed to move forward with plans to legalize cannabis. According to German local media Die Funke Mediengruppe, the new government intends to regulate the sale of cannabis to adults through licensed stores.
On the question of whether cannabis should be legalized and regulated for adults in Germany following the Canadian system, according to a 2020 survey reported by MJBizDaily, 51 percent of respondents said no, and 46 percent said yes.
Another survey conducted by the German Hemp Association, which Bloomberg reported, revealed a shift in favor of legalization, with 49 percent of respondents stating that they were in favor of legalization of cannabis.
Adult-use recreational cannabis would be legalized to ensure quality control, prevent the distribution of contaminated products, and ensure the protection of minors.
However, it is not yet clear whether the coalition intends to legalize cannabis cultivation in the United States and abroad. The most recent news about a possible agreement within the new coalition on this topic comes just a few days after Bloomberg published an article about it earlier this month.
According to a study conducted by the University of Düsseldorf, such reform could generate over $5.3 billion in additional annual tax revenue for the country while also creating approximately 27,000 legal jobs in the cannabis industry, among other benefits.
Several European countries have attempted to regulate cannabis in recent years, using a variety of different approaches. Luxemburg has legalized the cultivation and consumption of cannabis.
In a referendum this summer, Italy will vote on whether to decriminalize domestic cultivation and eliminate administrative penalties for personal possession. French authorities have launched a pilot program to provide patients with free medical cannabis.
Switzerland has set up a framework for researching the country with a three-year pilot program to conduct scientific studies on the effects of the cannabis market and its recreational use. Malta is currently debating a reform that would decriminalize cannabis while also containing illicit drug trafficking.
The coalition’s initiative would generate new tax revenue for Germany while also assisting cannabis companies from the United States and Canada in their efforts to enter the European cannabis market.
Even though Germany’s medical cannabis policy only became effective in 2017, the country has quickly risen to become the most rapidly growing cannabis market in Europe. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the legalization of recreational cannabis in Germany.
There is no indication as to how the new coalition government intends to regulate the financial markets. The Green Party introduced a draft bill, known as CannKG, intending to grant adults access to cannabis on a state-by-state basis.
However, the bill was rejected by the Bundestag in the year 2020. Even though cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in Germany, the drug’s legalization remains a contentious issue in the country’s public debate.
Even though the role of the legalization of cannabis in the new coalition’s political balance is uncertain, the approach to the cannabis debate appears to be promising so far. The coalition appears to have put aside the partisan discussions about legalization among political parties to concentrate on the public health implications of legalization.