German officials have announced they are scaling back their widely anticipated cannabis legalization plan following a discussion with European Union officials, the Associated Press reports.
The new plan, revealed on Wednesday, is to legalize cannabis possession of up to 25 grams and establish nonprofit “cannabis clubs” where registered members who are 18 and older can go and purchase the plant for recreational purposes. The clubs will be limited to 500 members each and individuals will not be allowed to hold memberships at more than one cannabis club. The clubs will be tasked with growing and processing the cannabis for its members, although adults will also be allowed to home-grow up to three plants, the report said.
Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir said the new plan will be finalized by the end of this month and should take effect by the end of the year.
The country’s original cannabis liberalization plan, first outlined in October by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, had been to establish licensed cannabis retailers across the country. But the plan shifted following talks with the EU’s executive commission, according to the report, although German officials announced they would still be holding five-year regional test runs of “commercial supply chains” for cannabis products with the goal of — assuming the tests are successful — creating pressure for an EU cannabis policy shift and clearing the way for the country’s original plan.
Lauterbach said the EU‘s feedback was “something that perhaps disappointed us,” but that he also sees it as an “opportunity to build the basis for a European cannabis policy,” according to the report.