German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach says he hopes to submit the nation’s adult-use cannabis legalization proposal for a parliamentary vote this February and see the proposal come into effect by April, according to a DW report.
The proposal was initially agreed upon by Germany‘s three-part government coalition last year, and Lauterbach said that lawmakers’ discussion regarding the Cannabis Act has remained positive.
While legalization critics have pushed back against the proposal, Lauterbach argues that the unregulated market carries risks such as contaminated products and extremely potent products — “Controlled distribution of cannabis is the right way to do this, combined with special protection for children and adolescents,” he said in the report.
Germany is one of five European Union member states that have enacted, introduced, or announced plans to enact adult-use cannabis reforms; the other nations include the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Malta, and the Netherlands.
Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU but has also enacted cannabis reform policies, licensed Europe‘s first legal — albeit experimental — cannabis dispensary last October as part of a study on adult-use cannabis reforms.
Industry insiders have predicted that once Germany’s policy is active, its neighbors will likely be inspired to move quickly with policies of their own. In a recent statement to Ganjapreneur, Alex Rogers, Founder/CEO of the International Cannabis Business Conference set to be hosted in Berlin this April, said that “leaders in several other European nations have indicated that once Germany legalizes it, they will proceed with similar policy modernization efforts in their respective countries.”
CEO of Bloomwell Group, Niklas Kouparanis, echoed these sentiments, stating that Germany’s roll-out of its legalization proposal would serve as a “major catalyst” for reform across the entire continent. “The year 2024 will likely be deemed a major milestone for cannabis policy in Europe,” he said. (Full Story)