German cannabis legalization efforts set to move forward

Cannabis legalization in Germany

Officials in Germany are moving ahead with a scaled-back version of cannabis legalization. Adults over 18 could possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and cultivate three flowering plants in their homes, but a nationwide market is not part of the new plan.

Dispensaries would only be permitted in certain regions, with a five-year licensing structure for lawmakers to study their impact, part of the country’s compromise on legalization. Most people would need to acquire their cannabis from licensed “social clubs” similar to those seen in Spain

The social clubs would be limited to 500 members each, and on-site consumption is prohibited. The clubs could sell up to 50 grams of cannabis per month to those over 21, while adults aged 18 – 21 could buy 30 grams monthly. In addition, members can purchase up to seven seeds or five cannabis clones at the clubs for their home grows.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir announced the scaled-back legislation in a press conference, revising their plans after conversations with European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels.

Lauterbach noted that the response from EU leaders “is, on the one hand, something that perhaps disappointed us, but on the other hand, also an opportunity — the opportunity to build the basis for a European cannabis policy with a well-conducted study.”

The draft legislation is set to be finalized this month. The German parliament’s lower house will then consider it, but the plans do not need approval from the upper house. 

Özdemir is confident that officials will approve legalization swiftly and that “consumption will become legal this year already.”

“The use of cannabis is a social reality,” he said. “Decades of prohibition policies have turned a blind eye to this and have primarily caused problems.”

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She has been covering the cannabis space since 2015, and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, and many other niche publications. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter

Rachelle Gordon