In October, key details of a plan to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis was published in Germany, including a description by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to have “complete” cultivation within the country.
Many international investors and businesses had been hoping Germany would find a way to allow imports, possibly from Canada or from other European countries, even though at this time it would breach international drug-control treaties and the EU Charter.
The outline of the proposed law is being reviewed by the European Commision, the executive branch for the EU, to ensure it’s compatible with EU and global drug laws.
The German government has stated that the drafting of a new law will only continue if the plan is approved first by the EU. If approved, cannabis reform in countries across the European Union could plan to adopt the same blueprint as they follow Germany’s example.
One potential roadblock comes from Germany’s Health Minister for the state of Bavaria, Klaus Holetschek. He’s looking to block Germany’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana sales and production. It’s being reported by the Associated Press that he’s reached out to the EU’s Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs, Monique Pariat, asking her to block the plans as he believes they are in contradiction of the law.
As of today, only three companies are permitted to cultivate in Germany under a direct contract with the government and their facilities are built to narcotic drug control standards, meaning they are heavily-fortified. Under the Ministry’s new proposal, government rules related to cannabis facility design and construction would be relaxed, opening the door to lower cost-to-build indoor cultivation facilities, as well as greenhouses. Although such a transfer of production methods would require a lot of time and resources, once complete, new licensees and producers would be able to come online much faster and at a lower cost of production.
Clearly, a significant ramp up in cultivation and post-processing capacity will be required to satisfy German demands for adult use of cannabis. Over 45,000 pounds were imported for scientific and medical purposes just last year in Germany. Canada is the biggest supplier to Germany, currently supplying approximately one-third of its total medical flower imports.
The proposal also suggests that licenses will be issued to stores and pharmacies to sell recreational marijuana, in addition to online sales. Advertising would be banned, similar to Canada. The Ministry of Health also proposes allowing home cultivation of no more than two plants per household.
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