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Germany has announced a framework introducing adult-use cannabis that considers setting the legal age at 18. An outline is being submitted to the European Union for opinion on whether their model for legalization would conflict with EU law. If found compatible, a draft law would be presented in the first quarter of 2023.

Along with Germany, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Malta are all wildcards in a multi-level coalition of cannabis legalization. Plans have been leaking steadily since October 2019. Malta even introduced a regulated adult-use market in 2021.

Any European country named in the coalition can look forward to some relaxed legislation on cannabis consumption boundaries. Private and public possession and consumption of quantities between 20-30 grams, regardless of THC level, will no longer be considered a legal offense.

However, members of the coalition can anticipate provincial and municipal government influence regarding authorized sales, age restrictions, quantity-allowable limits, and boundaries similar to Canada and legal states in the United States.

Germany Announces Plans to Legalize Cannabis

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Germany Cannabis Legalization on the Horizon

When comparing their laws with Canada and the U.S., where quantities and THC levels are restricted, Germany’s late entry into the adult use market brings both similar and significant proposed regulations. Protecting youth and public safety appear to be priority with relevance across the legalization coalition.

Germany’s proposed public health measures are gearing up to present vaporizing as the healthiest cannabis consumption method. Labeling and packaging regulations geared toward quality control and youth deterrence from the illicit market are being marked as priority matters.

“If this law comes to pass, it would be the most liberal project to legalize cannabis in Europe, but also the most regulated market,” the German Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, said at a press conference in Berlin. “It could be a model for Europe,” as per the Guardian.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wants legal cannabis

German Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach | Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Reuters

Cannabis Remains Illegal in Netherlands

The Netherlands have long been a beacon for cannabis consumption, even though it remains illegal to this day. Although, their tolerance for consumption is remarkable; you’re allowed to purchase and consume cannabis as an adult so long as you’re in a coffeeshop (social consumption lounge).

Czech Republic Working Towards Recreational Cannabis

Back in 2010, the Czech Republic decriminalized possession and later introduced legal medical cannabis in 2013. Today, the Czech Pirate Party is on board as the Czech Republic’s strongest cannabis advocacy group. The newest parliamentary member to the latest formed government, projects up to $800M in annual tax revenue with legalization in play. In 2021, the Czech Pirates drew a map in history books when they became the first Pirate Party to ever join a regular government coalition.

Luxembourg One of First European Countries to Legalize Cannabis

Luxembourg was one of the first European countries to legalize adult-use cannabis and set framework for a regulated national market. Under their regulations, people aged 18 and up can legally grow up to four plants at home. The sale and trade of cannabis seeds is legal. However, transporting more than three grams would still be illegal, as well as driving with cannabis.

Malta Allows Cannabis Consumption and Cultivation but Has No Cannabis Retailers

In Malta, adults aged 18 and up can possess up to seven grams of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants at home. Unfortunately, there are no licensed cannabis clubs in Malta. So, adults have nowhere to purchase any products.

Looking at the Future of International Cannabis Use

Canada’s vibrant industry relations with the Euro medical market could hold weight in Germany’s international recreational-use strategy. The overall introduction of a regulated adult-use market is projected to span 2023 into 2024. International treaties and trade agreements are icebergs expected to impose possible time-lapse and further navigation.

North America’s longstanding medical and legal-gray market operation with regulation has been highly influential in European cannabis market research and development. Finally regulating the European adult-use market is like applying quality assurance to the future international cannabis market.

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